Badminton World C'ships: We want to reach the semifinals, says Gopichand

Guangzhou: India's chief coach Pullela Gopichand today commended the stunning performances of his wards, including P V Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap, but asked them to step up the gas and reach the semifinals of the ongoing World Badminton Championships.

India's rising shuttler Sindhu today registered a stunning 21-18 23-21 victory over defending champion Yihan Wang of China to join Saina Nehwal in the women's singles quarterfinals here.

PV Sindhu beat the defending champion and second seed Yihan Wang. PTI

PV Sindhu beat the defending champion and second seed Yihan Wang. PTI

In the men's singles, Kashyap also recorded an upset victory over world number six Yun Hu of Hong Kong 21-13 21-16 as first time India will have three representatives in the last eight stage of the prestigious event.

"It is a good achievement for India. First time we have three players in the quarterfinals and I am really happy. But now we need to focus more and try to take the game to the next level and reach the semis," Gopichand said. "Semifinals was our target and we need to at least reach there tomorrow," he said.

"It is going to be a big day tomorrow and I hope the players can get their perspective right and do well at the big match," he added.

Asked about Sindhu's stunning performance, Gopichand said: "Sindhu was very good today. She fought till the end and didn't allow the advantage slip away. The way she fought towards the end in the second game when Yihan saved three match points, was fantastic. She handled the pressure well and held her nerves."

Talking about Kashyap, who also notched up an upset victory to reach the quarterfinals, Gopichand said: "He was clinical in his approach and played according to the plan and executed it well. Saina also registered a good victory. She was more consistent," he added.

Sindhu, who won the Malaysia Grand Prix Gold this year, was ecstatic with the win. "I cannot explain how I am feeling right now. I just went into the match with the determination to give my 100 per cent and I am really happy to have pulled off this victory," said Sindhu after the match.

Explaing his match, Kashyap, who will next take on Du Pengyu of China, said: "I played well from the start and was able to smash well. Even my dribbles were sharp.

"First game I led from the start and could finish it off. In the second game too I had a big lead but he played well at the end. He played some very good shots and his dribbles were also unplayable. He caught upto 15-15 from 7-14 down.

"After that I changed my game a bit, thanks to Gopi sir. He told me to avoid the net and it worked and I could pull it off. I have been in the quarters at Olympics and the All England, so I am happy I have reached this stage again," he added.

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had reached the quarterfinals in the last two editions in 2009 and 2011, defeated 15th seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand 18-21 21-16 21-14 to enter the quarterfinals.

Saina, seeded third, will next play 13th seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea. "Bae is a good rally player. So it will be a tough match tomorrow."

PTI