Asian Junior Championships: Winning start for Maisnam Meiraba, Gayatri Gopichand suffers double defeat
The India No. 2 U-17 player, Maisnam Meiraba sailed into the second round of the U-17 men’s singles category at the Badminton Asia U17 & U15 Junior Championships 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday. But the chief national coach Pullela Gopichand’s 14-year-old daughter Gayatri suffered double defeat as she bowed out of both the U-15 and U-17 women’s singles sections.
Meiraba needed just 25 minutes to dismiss the challenge of Malaysia’s Shun Yang Lee, 21-10, 21-13.
The 14-year-old Manipur shuttler has been touted as a big hope for quite some time now. He bagged a bronze at the YONEX-SHERA-ROZA-BTY International Championships 2017 held in Bangkok in April.
The current India No. 1 Dhruv Rawat, however, did not share the same fortunes. He was beaten 21-19, 19-21, 17-21 by Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat Ilmi.
Three-game defeats for Gayatri
The young Gayatri succumbed to narrow defeats in both the singles sections. It was the same trend in both with Gopichand claiming the middle game but tasting defeat in the end.
In U-15, she lost 22-24, 21-14, 15-21 to Indonesia’s Widjaja Stephani and in U-17, she crashed out with a 20-22, 21-18, 13-21 defeat to Indonesian shuttler Yasnita Enggira Setiawan.
Gayatri is still in contention in the U-17 doubles section alongside Samiya Imad Farooqui. The two, who clinched an U-15 bronze last year, are seeded fourth in this category.
In some of the other matches of the day, Siddhanth Gupta advanced to the second round of men’s singles U-15 with a 21-19, 21-16 win over Taipei’s Wei Zheng-Chen. In the same section, Ayush Raj Gupta thrashed local hope Moe Thaw Htin 21-3, 21-5 and Jayant Rana triumphed 21-13, 21-12 over Vietnam’s The Lam Son Nguyen.
Punshiba Yengkhom had a tougher road to victory in U-15 men’s singles. After dropping the opening game, he stormed back for a 15-21, 21-15, 21-17 over Hong Kong’s Jason Gunawan.
In the girls’ U-15 category, Aashi Rawat easily beat Sri Lanka’s Suwani Muthumalee 21-16, 21-8 and Sneha Rajwar prevailed over Chao Ting-Yu, 21-17, 21-15.
In girls’ U-17, Samiya Imad Farooqui gave a tough fight in the second game before going down 9-21, 19-21 to Malaysia’s Nur Syaza Rashidi. Unnati Bisht’s campaign too came to an end at the hands of the Thai player, Benyapa Aimsaard, who emerged a 25-23, 21-16 winner.