Birmingham: Indian challenge at the world badminton championship came to an end on Thursday with national champion Aparna Popat going down to second seed Zhang Ning of China.
Popat, who was lucky to enter the last 16 when a knee injury forced her South Korean opponent Kim Kyeung Ran to forfeit the tie, failed to trouble Ning, who took the match 11-4, 11-5.
The Indian had reached the pre-quarter final by defeating world No. 25 Wan Ting Ling of Hong Kong 13-10, 11-8 in the first round and was given a walkover by the 10th seed Ran, who was leading the tie 9-7 in the first game.
Trupti Murgunde was routed 11-6, 11-0 by Japan’s Kaori Mori in the second round on Wednesday.
Murgunde, a last minute entrant into the main draw, could not match the speed of her wily opponent, who had upset 15th seed Kelly Morgan of Wales in the first round, and surrendered in just 18 minutes.
In women’s doubles, the Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian went out to 16th seeds Wen-Hsing Cheng and Yu-Chin Chien of Chinese Taipei 8-15, 6-15 in a second-round match.
Meanwhile, top seed Chen Hong advanced to the third round with an easy win over Germany’s Jens Roch. Chen beat Roch 15-5, 15-1 in just 28 minutes.
“(Wednesday) was my first match, but I didn’t feel too much pressure,” said Chen, who received a first-round bye.
“It felt like it should be easy, but every player has to play well to get to the final. ”
Second-ranked Kenneth Jonassen of Denmark downed Belgium’s David Jaco 15-3, 15-1, while No. 3 Taufik Hidayat of Indonesia beat Finland’s Kasperi Salo 15-10, 15-8.
Women’s top seed Wang Chen of Hong Kong beat Russia’s Elena Sukhareva in the second round 11-8, 11-5. No. 2 Zhang Ning of China topped Italy’s Agnese Allegrini 11-4, 11-6.