SPORT

Aparna cruises into second round

ATHENS, AUG. 14. Aparna Popat cruised into the second round with a 11-6, 11-3 victory over the unfancied Michelle Edwards of South Africa in badminton at the Goudi Olympic Hall here on Saturday.

Though she was quite rusty to start with Aparna had no trouble in controlling the match against her stocky and erratic opponent.

Aparna did not allow more than two points at a stretch at any stage of the match to her opponent and wound up the show in 23 minutes. The best was the manner she accelerated from 2-2 to 8-2 in the first game.

Coach Vimal Kumar was quite happy with Aparna's fare, and said that she would be ready for the tough second round against Mia Audina of the Netherlands on the morrow.

`'Aparna was rusty because she had not played competitive since April. It was good for her to start with an easy match. If she plays to her potential, there is no reason why Aparna cannot score her first win over Mia'', said Vimal Kumar.

The fourth-seeded Mia had beaten Nigella Saunders of Jamaica 11-4, 11-1 in her first round encounter.

The two other Indian players, Nikhil Kanetkar and Abhinn Shyam Gupta are scheduled to play their first round matches in the men's section on August 16. — Kamesh Srinivasan

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