National Men’s Singles Champion Niluka Karunaratne, both the Men’s and Women’s doubles pairs as well as the mixed double pair were successful in the qualifying round of competition at the Asian Badminton Championships in China.
It was a walk in the park for the national champion Karunaratne as he got his ticket to the main draw winning both qualifiers decisively. Karunaratne won against Bahaedeen Alshannik of UAE 21-5 & 21-16 while defeated Artyom Savatyugin of Uzbekistan with scores reading 21-7, 21-13.
The seven-member Sri Lanka contingent for the Badminton Asia Championship took flight..
Karunaratne’s path ahead looks very daunting as he is set to face world number 1 Chou Tien Cheng of Chinese Taipei.
Meanwhile, Sachin Dias and Buwenaka Goonathilaka qualified for the Mens’ Doubles main draw after defeating Pui Ngai Che & Pan Fong Pui. The Sri Lankan duo will now face Malaysian nationals Yew Sin Ong and Ee Yi Teo.
Sri Lanka was also successful in getting through to the Women’s Doubles main draw after Achini Ratnasiri and Samanthika Weerasinghe were awarded a walkover in the qualifiers. They will now face Poon Lok Yan and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong.
The Sri Lankan Mixed Doubles pair also got themselves through to the main draw winning the qualifier matches. The Sachin Dias-Thilini Hendahewa duo will now face Yang Lee and Hsu Ya Ching of Chinese Taipei in the first round of the draw.
Sri Lanka’s hope in the Women’s Singles Lekha Shehani could not progress beyond the qualifier losing both her matches. Shehani lost to Grace Chua of Singapore and Linh Nguyen depriving her of a ticket to the main draw.
After an impressive qualifier draw battle, the Sri Lankans will face the real tester when they make their way to the main draw.