Mahoor Shahzad loses her first Olympic contest in just 23 minutes

By: News Desk      Published: 10:21 AM, 24 Jul, 2021
Mahoor Shahzad loses her first Olympic contest in just 23 minutes
Pakistan's Mahoor Shahzad serves against Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in their women's singles badminton group stage match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.–AFP

Pakistan’s Mahoor Shahzad who is the country’s first badminton player to feature in the Olympic Games was beaten in straight sets by a Japanese player in just 23 minutes on Saturday morning.

Japan's Akane Yamaguchi made a winning start to the Tokyo Olympics, easing to a 2-0 victory over Pakistan's Mahoor Shahzad in the badminton women's singles event, reported Japanese media.

The fourth-seeded Yamaguchi needed just 23 minutes to brush aside Shahzad 21-3, 21-8 in the Group L match at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza.

The 24-year-old Yamaguchi was naturally delighted with the win as she seeks to better her quarterfinal loss at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

"It was my first game of the tournament so there were a few nerves but I think I played well and am glad to get the win," said Yamaguchi. "I thought I would be able to get a feel for the match through rallies rather than aggressively taking the initiative."

Mahoor Shahzad, the first badminton player from Pakistan to compete at an Olympics, admitted a lack of experience in international tournaments had cost her. "Since I don't play many international tournaments it was difficult to get adjusted to the environment of the court," the 24-year-old said.

"It feels very good that now someone like me has given Pakistan representation in the Olympics. We are hoping that now we will have more representation in international tournaments."