Asian Junior Championships 2018: Aakarshi Kashyap, Lakshya Sen give India thumping start
With the likes of former junior World No. 1 Lakshya Sen and junior national champion Aakarshi Kashyap leading from the front, India began their campaign at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships’ team event with a thumping 5-0 victory over minnows Kazakhstan Bintaro, Jakarta.
Both Aakarshi and Lakshya registered straightforward wins in their respective matches. India’s top-ranked junior doubles pair of Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker and boys’ doubles pair of Manjit Singh and Dingku Singh also recorded convincing wins.
The first Indian to take to the court was the 16-year-old Aakarshi who faced Kazakhstan's Iya Gordeyeva. It took only 13 minutes for Aakarshi to get past Gordeyeva 21-5, 21-4. Lakshya then took just 24 minutes to brush past Dmitriy Panarin 21-15, 21-12 and give India a 2-0 lead.
Afterwards, Singhi and Thaker beat Iya Gordeyeva and Aisha Zhumabek 21-7, 21-8 in 20 minutes to give India an unassailable 3-0 lead over Kazakhstan. Manjit and Dingku then made it 4-0 in favour of India with a 21-5, 21-6 win over Damir Abdullayev and Kemran Tajibullayev.
In the last rubber, mixed doubles pair of Srishti Jupudi and Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile beat Dmitriy Panarin and Aisha Zhumabek 21-7, 21-9 to complete the whitewash.
The tournament, which is in its 21st year of existence, will also see the shuttlers fighting it out in the individual format. The mixed team event will conclude on July 17, while the individual competition will start from July 18 onwards.
In the mixed team event, India still has two ties left. They will meet Sri Lanka before they take on Korea, which will be their first real test, in their final group tie on Sunday.
India's best result so far in the mixed team event at the Junior Continental Championship was back in 2011, when they had won a Team Bronze medal. The youngsters will be looking to improve on that performance this year.