Who is Kiran George – Indian badminton’s latest wild card

File Photo (BAI Media)

Born on February 11th, 2000, in Kochi, Kerala, Kiran George is currently making waves at the Thailand Open Super 500 series.

On Wednesday, May 31, George pulled off a massive upset by defeating China’s Shi Yu Qi, BWF World Rank 9, 21-18, 22-20 in the Round of 32 at the Thailand Open.

George had previously won the Odisha Open 2022, which is a part of the BWF World Tour and rated a Super-100 event. In the finals of that competition, he had defeated his Indian compatriot Priyanshu Rajawat 2-1.

Other than this, George has won Gold in three BWF Internationals (Grade 3 and Level 2 of BWF Tournaments) – the Ghana International 2019, Polish International 2021, Polish Open and was runner-up in one, the Denmark Masters 2022.
His current BWF rank is 59.

In the Round of 16, George will face Hong Yang Weng (BWF 26) of China, who defeated Kidambi Srikanth, India’s experienced shuttler, 2-1 (21-8, 16-21, 21-14) earlier in the day to reach the pre-quarters.

Tentative Match time: 10:30 am IST
Where to watch? BWF YouTube

How the pre-quarters went

Yang was a tough opponent, with a BWF ranking of 26, who was the runner-up in the recently concluded Malaysia Masters Super 500, where he lost 2-1 to India’s HS Prannoy in the final.

George started the match in an attacking mood, and never really lost control. The first set was won in a comprehensive fashion, 21-11.

The second set was far more even and keenly contested, with a few smashes from both ends of the court. But ultimately, it was George who got the last couple of points to seal the set and the match 2-0 (21-11, 21-19).

Now, he will face the winner of the match between the 15th-ranked Ng Ka Long of Hong Kong and France’s TJ Popov, ranked 28th, in the quarter-final on Friday.

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