TOKYO: Pakistan’s Mahoor Shahzad exited the women’s singles badminton tournament at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday while her countryman Haseeb Tariq finished 62nd out of 70 competitors in the heats for the men’s 100m freestyle swimming competition.
Having lost her Group ‘L’ opener to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi on Saturday, Mahoor needed a win to stay in contention but came up short 14-21, 14-21 to Britain’s Kirsty Gilmour at the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.
Gilmour trailed briefly in the first set but never gave up her lead once she had established it and ended up taking both games comfortably in the 31-minute match.
Gilmour praised Mahoor afterwards. “Mahoor is a really good player, really good at retrieving things, so I was expecting that,” she said. “At times, I got into a really good flow but I will have to string a lot more than just patches together.”
At the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, Haseeb ended in sixth place in the second of nine heats for the 100m free. His time of 53.81 seconds meant he was 1.27 seconds behind heat winner Danilo Rosafio of Kenya.
The top 16 from 70 swimmers were to advance to the semi-finals and Haseeb was 6.10 seconds behind Italy’s Thomas Ceccon, who set the fastest time of 47.71 seconds ahead of favourite Caeleb Dressel of the United States and Rio gold medallist Kyle Chalmers of Australia.
Ceccon was two hundredth of a second ahead of Dressel, while Chalmers was a further four hundredth behind. The world record time in the event is 46.91.
Among others advancing to the semi-finals were 16-year-old Romanian David Popovici and American Zach Apple.