Jaipur: In a major upset, defending champion and third seed Abhinn Shyam Gupta crashed out of the Asian satellite badminton championship, going down to unfancied Kuan Beng Hong of Malaysia in the quarter finals on Thursday.
Abhinn, also the national champion and ranked 57th in the world, was handed a 13-15, 15-7, 15-10 defeat by Hong, ranked 100th in the world.
However, unseeded Nikhil Kanetkar sailed into the semi-finals with a comprehensive 15-1, 15-7 victory against compatriot J.B.S. Vidhyadhar.
Kanetkar now runs into top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the semi-final. Chong Wei, ranked 24th, beat Sachin Ratti 15-10, 15-8.
Second seed Yeoh Key Bin of Malaysia also played to the form book, quashing the challenge of Chetan Anand 15-9, 15-4.
In the women’s section, the seeded players played true to their reputation. Top seed and national champion Aparna Popat beat Singapore’s Jiyang Yamnei 9-11, 11-5, 11-2.
Second seed Li Li of Singapore beat Shruti Kurian 11-2, 11-1 while third seed Salakjit Polsana of Thailand defeated Manjusha Kanwar 11-4, 11-2.
Fourth seed Siao Luxi of Singapore ended the challenge of Trupti Murgunde 11-7, 11-3 to complete the semi-final line-up.
Apart from admitting to his poor finish, Abhinn later said he was “distracted by an advertisement on the back wall of the court”. “(The ad) being white made it hard for me to sight the shuttle,” he maintained.