PHOTOS: Saina, Kashyap bring cheer on day of mixed bag
Parupalli Kashyap created history by becoming the first Indian shuttler to reach the men's singles quarter-finals and Saina Nehwal too powered her way into the last-eight stage even as archer Deepika Kumari flopped miserably at the Olympics.
There was no good news for India from any other discipline, as the hockey team suffered its second straight defeat when it lost abjectly 1-3 to New Zealand in Group B, the pairing of Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan went down fighting in their men's doubles match to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra, and the women shooters' poor run extended with the ouster of Annu Raj Singh and Rahi Sarnobat in the 25m pistol event.
Image: India's Kashyap Parupalli plays against Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne during their men's singles round of 16 badminton match
Photographs: Bazuki Muhammad/Reuters
Controversy at the Games
Earlier in the day a major controversy erupted over the ouster of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa from the women's doubles badminton event by just a point.
India lodged a formal protest with the Games' organisers asking it to probe whether the Japan-Chinese Taipei match was played in the right spirit on Tuesday.
Jwala and Ashwini missed out on a quarter-final berth by just a point, even though they beat Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore 21-16, 21-15 in their last Group B match, after tying with Japan and Taipei on the number of wins.
Prior to India's final group game on Tuesday night, the world No 5 Japanese pair of Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa had shockingly lost to Chinese Taipei's Cheng Wen Hsing and Chien Yu Chin, ranked 10th, 19-21, 11-21.
Image: Ashwini Ponnappa (Top Right) and Jwala Gutta (Top Left) of India shake hands with against Mizuki Fujii (Bottom Left) and Reika Kakiiwa (Bottom Right) of Japan
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Kashyap creates history
Kashyap, ranked 21st in the world, had to draw on all his experience to quell a strong challenge from Niluka Karunaratne before winning 21-14, 15-21, 21-9 in the pre-quarter-final clash that lasted 66 minutes.
The 25-year-old Hyderabadi, thus, became only the second shuttler from the country, after Saina in Beijing 2008, and the first male shuttler, to enter the last eight in badminton, which became an Olympic discipline in 1992.
Kashyap will meet world No 2 Lee Chong Wei of China in the last-eight stage.
The previous best performances were by Dipankar Bhattacharjee, who entered the pre-quarterfinals at the 1992 Barcelona Games, and Pullela Gopichand, who lost in the pre-quarters at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
Image: India's Kashyap Parupalli plays against Sri Lanka's Niluka Karunaratne at a men's singles badminton match
Photographs: Saurabh Das/AP
Saina cruises into quarter-finals
Saina notched a comfortable 21-14, 21-16 victory over Dutch Jie Yao.
The world No 5 Indian tired out the Dutch girl by engaging her in long rallies and executed her strokes with perfection to emerge victories.
After two easy matches in the group stages, it was a good warm up for the 22-year-old Indian, who will take on either two-time All England champion Tine Baun of Denmark or Sayaka Sato of Japan in the quarter-finals.
Image: Saina Nehwal
New Zealand crush India in men's hockey
India's semi-final hopes in men's hockey competition were dealt a severe blow when the side slumped to a humiliating 1-3 defeat to New Zealand.
Defensive lapses led to the Bharat Chetri-led side's second successive loss, having opened their campaign on Monday with a 2-3 defeat against formidable the Netherlands.
Conceding soft penalty-corners and allowing the rival strikers plenty of leeway inside the circle, India's defence allowed New Zealand to call the shots even after taking an early lead.
Sandeep Singh's second minute penalty-corner conversion kept India ahead for 10 minutes before the 'Black Sticks' hit back to score three goals in the first session through Andrew Hayward (12th minute), Phillip Burrows (24th) and Nicholas Wilson (29th) to leave the Indians shattered.
India's efforts to bounce back in the second session saw them frequently break into the rival circle, but were unable to change the scoreline.
Image: New Zealand's Phillip Burrows (18) scores a goal on a penalty as goalkeeper Bharat Kumar Chetri fails to save it during their men's hockey preliminary match
Photographs: Bullit Marquez/AP
Deepika disappoints yet again
Further setbacks were in store for India in women's archery, where medal hope Deepika made a shock first round exit in the individual event, and women's shooting where pistol shooters Rahi and Annu Raj found themselves out of depth. Deepika flattered to deceive.
Touted as a strong medal contender because of her world no.1 ranking, she could not live up to the billing and lost 2-6 against host country's Amy Oliver.
The 18-year-old Ranchi girl was completely off colour today and was no match for her British rival, who easily pocketed the encounter.
Image: Deepika Kumari of India aims during the women's individual round of 32 eliminations at the Lord's Cricket Ground
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
Swarn Singh finishes second in single sculls
Already out of medal contention, Indian rower Swarn SinghVirk finished second in a minor placings race in single sculls, while Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh fought to save themselves from ending bottom of the heap in lightweight double sculls.
Swarn came second in semi-final C, clocking 7:36.25 at the the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre.
In the men's lightweight double sculls, Sandeep Kumar and Manjeet Singh finished last in semi-final D with a timing of 7:19.31.
Image: Sawarn Singh
Photographs: Chris Carlson/AP