Bangkok: Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal returned to the court in style, registering a straight-game win over local hope Phittayaporn Chaiwan, to sail into the women’s singles second round of the Thailand Open here on Wednesday. Returning to action after nearly two months, Saina, who made last-minute withdrawals from Indonesia Open and last week’s Japan Open because of injuries, got past Chaiwan 21-17 21-19 in her opening round contest. The seventh seeded Indian will play against Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in the second round on Thursday. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over ChandigarhIt was good news for Indians in the men’s singles event as well as the likes of Kidambi Srikanth, H S Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap, B Sai Praneeth and Shubhanker Dey all progressed to the next round by overcoming their respective rivals. Fifth seed Srikanth was made to toil hard for one hour and seven minutes by Chinese qualifier Ren Peng Bo before the Indian came out victorious 21-13 17-21 21-19. Srikanth will be up against Thailand’s Khosit Phetpradab in the second round. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterLater in the day, Prannoy defeated Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent of 21-16 22-20, while Kashyap came from a game down to beat Israel’s Misha Zilberman 18-21 21-8 21-14. Both Prannoy and Kashyap have tough second round encounters in hand as they are up against sixth seeded Japanese Kenta Nishimoto and third seed Chou Tien Chen of Taipei respectively. Lady luck smiled on Subhankar Dey as he was handed a walkover by top seed and world number 1 Kento Momota of Japan in his opening round contest. In the second round, Subhankar faces compatriot Sai Praneeth who came back from a game down to beat Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 17-21 21-17 21-15 in his first round match. However, it was curtains for Verma brothers, Sourabh and Sameer as both lost their respective first round matches. Sourabh fought hard for 64 minutes against seventh seed Kanta Tsuneyama of Japan before going down 21-23 21-19 5-21 in his opening match. Sameer squandered a first game advantage to lose 23-21 11-21 5-21 at the hands of Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia and crash out of the tournament. Earlier in the day, the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa recorded one of the biggest wins of their career, stunning Olympic silver medallists Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying in the first round. The unseeded Indian pair battled for one hour and two minutes to get past the fifth seeded Malaysian duo of Soon and Ying 21-18 18-21 21-17. It is only the second time that world number 23 Ponnappa and Rankireddy got the better of Soon and Ying, ranked 5th in the world. The Indian pair had defeated their Malaysian opponents in the mixed team event of Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last year. Ponnappa and Rankireddy will play Indonesia’s Alfian Eko Prasetya and Marsheilla Gischa Islami in the second round. The other Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy eased past Japanese duo of Kohei Gondo and Ayane Kurihara 21-16 21-13. They will next play eight seeds Tang Chun Man and Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong. In another women’s singles match, India’s Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka was no match for China’s Chen Xiao Xin, losing 17-21 7-21 in the first round.
IQALUIT, Nunavut – Grocery retailers were moving Thursday to ensure critical supplies remained available in Nunavut’s capital after a fire destroyed significant parts of Iqaluit’s largest retail store.Another outlet stepped up to say it would accept a freighter-load of supplies originally intended for Northmart, where the fire broke out late Wednesday.“We have committed to the full freighter of inventory that was already in transit,” said Duane Wilson of Arctic Co-operatives, which owns Iqaluit’s other grocery store. “That’s probably (already) on the ground.“There’s going to be inventory in the community. There’s no immediate cause for panic.”Wilson added that Arctic Co-operatives will also increase its regular Friday air freight shipments to Iqaluit.The Northmart store offered everything from clothes to furniture to snowmobiles, as well as places to eat or sit for a coffee.“It’s the hub of the community,” said resident Mike Hadfield.“You go every day. There’s always something that you need.”When he heard about the fire, he headed to the Arctic Co-operatives store to stock up.“I went down there to make sure I got my milk and bread and cream and eggs, perishables to last me a week. Within 10 minutes of me leaving the store, I drove by again and you couldn’t find a parking spot within three blocks.“Their shelves will be empty by the end of the day.”Mayor Madeleine Redfern said the blaze started at the back of the building and had already destroyed the warehouse and several other facilities.“From what I’m seeing of the residents’ reactions, everyone is in shock and disbelief … very concerned,” she said. “We initially hoped the fire could be put out very quickly. Everyone is just waiting to see what the final outcome will be.”Redfern said a number of people work at the store, so “it’s a significant employer and a provider of products.”A nearby elders care home was evacuated as a precaution and Iqaluit residents were being asked to conserve water so that emergency crews would have an adequate supply for firefighting efforts.A school across from the store was closed for the morning.Most perishable food is flown year-round into the city of 7,700, while non-perishable food items and hard goods come in by sea.“The issue is ensuring that the other retailers are able to bring in enough supplies on an ongoing basis,” Redfern said. “In these situations, it’s important that we work together for the common good.”By late morning, most of the flames had been extinguished, although black smoke continued to billow, Hadfield said. Onlookers crowded the street.“There’s a lot of people gathered.”A spokeswoman for the government said the territory was looking into whether it has a role in keeping Iqaluit fed.“The (territory) is working closely with the city of Iqaluit to provide any and all support. Cold and heated storage (is) available for food storage if and when needed,” said Nasra Esak of Community and Government Services.The Health Department was working to ensure people get their medications.The RCMP were investigating the cause of the fire.— By Ken Trimble and Bob Weber in Edmonton