New Delhi: Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu cruised into the second round of Denmark Open Super Series Premier badminton tournament after registering an easy win over China's He Bingjiao.
Sindhu, who was playing her first match since her Rio Games glory in August where she won the silver medal, defeated Bingjiao 21-14, 21-19 in the clash that lasted 37 minutes.
In the second round, Sindhu will face Sayaka Sato of Japan.
Sindhu's gallant attempt to win a coveted gold medal for India ended in heart-break when she went down fighting against Spain’s Carolina Marin and settled for a silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Sindhu thus became the fourth Indian to win a silver at the Olympics after shooters Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (2004, Athens) and Vijay Kumar (2012, London) and wrestler Sushil Kumar (2012, London).
The two-time World championship bronze medallist also became the fifth woman player from India to win a medal in Olympics and the first to clinch a silver.
Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London), shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London) and wrestler Sakshi Malik (Rio, 2016) are the other women players from India to have won a medal in Olympics.
In other matches involving Indian players, Ajay Jayaram and H S Prannoy advanced to the second round but it was curtains for B Sai Praneeth in the men's singles opening round
Jayaram, who had reached the finals at Dutch Open last week, notched up a 21-15 21-16 win over Thailand's Boonsak Ponsana. He will take on the winner of the match between Chinese qualifier Shi Yuqi and third seed and local favourite Jan O Jorgensen.
On his comeback trail after a spate of injuries, Prannoy registered a hard-fought 21-13 19-21 22-20 win over Malaysia's Wei Feng Chong in a match that lasted an hour and three minutes.
Swiss Open champion Prannoy will face the winner of the match between top seed Malaysian Lee Chong Wei and Hong Kong's Wei Nan.
However, B Sai Praneeth, who had clinched the Canada Open in July, lost narrowly to Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand. His fight ended with a 17-21 21-19 15-21 loss to Saensomboonsuk.
In men's doubles, Rio Olympians Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy suffered 10-21 19-21 loss to Denmark's Kim Aastrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.