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Badminton

Giant-killer Kiran George heads to Hong Kong Super 500

Kiran George, who won the BNI Indonesia Masters title last week to add to his growing trophy cabinet, will play at the Hong Kong Super 500 starting Tuesday.

Kiran George Badminton
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Kiran George (Source: Badminton Asia/Facebook)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 11 Sep 2023 10:14 AM GMT

Fresh off his exploits in the BNI Indonesian Masters, a Super 100 event, emerging shuttler Kiran George will be part of the men's singles field at the Hong Kong Super 500, starting on Tuesday. Lakshya Sen has been entered as the 8th seed at the $420,000 event, with HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth skipping the event as they are part of India's national camp for the Asian Games, starting on September 23.

“I am travelling to Hong Kong next and I’m focusing to do well there now,” Kiran, who will face Chinese Taipei’s Chi Yu Jen in the men’s singles qualifiers, told PTI.

Kiran, who trains at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru along with Lakshya, has come into his own this year. He stunned 2018 World Championships silver medallist and former All England champion Shi Yuqi and Malaysian Masters finalist and Australian Open winner Weng Hongyang at Thailand Open Super 500 earlier this year.

READ | Lakshya Sen & Kiran George: The two aces of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy

"In Thailand, I started playing well and beat some good players. From there on, I had this self-belief that I could beat anyone. That belief and consistency were the keys to winning this tournament,” Kiran told PTI.

World no. 50 Kiran, who had won his maiden title at the Odisha Open Super 100 last year, beat World No. 82 Koo Takahashi 21-19, 22-20 in a 56-minute final of the BNI Indonesia Masters last week.

Kiran, son of former national champion George Thomas, had claimed the Odisha Open and Polish Open before suffering an ankle injury that took a couple of months to heal. He also finished runner-up at the Denmark Masters last year and achieved a career-high ranking of world number 43 in January this year.

At the Hong Kong Open, as Kiran tries to continue his giant-killing run, he will have the world's best players to contend with. According to the entry lists, the top seeds at the Hong Kong Super 500 are Viktor Axelsen, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Kunlavut Vitidsarn, Kodai Naraoka, Jonathan Christie, Loh Kean Yew, Chou Tien Chen and Lakshya Sen.

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