KARACHI: Only one Pakistan team has managed to qualify for the main round of the Asian Badminton Championship out of the two doubles team and four singles participants sent to New Delhi.
Rizwan Azam and Kashif Sulehri, the doubles team, won the qualifying round of men’s doubles after beating Maldives’s Ajfan Rasheed and and Sharafuddin Nasheeu (21- 13 and 21-15) before defeating the Afghan pair Burhanuddin Mir Aman Khanand and Mohammad Abid Alim (21-9 and 21-6). They become the only Pakistanis to progress from the qualifying round and will face the Sri Lankan pair of Niluka and Dinuka in the first round of the championship.
The other doubles pair of Wajid Ali and Umer Zeeshan could not qualify for the main round of the championship as they lost to Yong Zhao Ashton Chen and Ziliang Derek Wong of Singapore (21- 15 and 21-17) in their first match.
Meanwhile, Pakistan women’s badminton team was also eliminated in their first match with national champion Palwasha Bashir and Sara Khan losing their matches of the women’s singles event to China’s Xuerui Li (21-6 and 21-6) and India’s Thulasi (21-17 and 21- 12) respectively.
Pakistan men’s singles contender Wajid Ali though qualified for the second round but lost against Thailand’s Bonsak Ponsana (21-16 and 21-14) to be knocked out of the championship. The other singles contender Umer Zeeshan faced defeat in his first match of the main round against Ha Ahn Lee of Vietnam (21- 16, 19-21 & 21-15).
Before the tournament, Pakistan’s contingent was briefly stopped at the Wagah border over permission issues.