Badminton Asia Juniors: Lakshya Sen exits, Dhruv Kapila-Mithula UK stun eighth seeds
Junior men’s singles World No. 1 Lakshya Sen’s campaign came to a screeching halt as he was handed a shock fourth round defeat at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday. The top seed squandered a one-game lead to succumb to a narrow 21-13, 23-25, 20-22 defeat to low-ranked Chinese Taipei player Lin Chun-Yi in the men’s U-19 section.
The marathon battle lasted for 1 hour 5 minutes.
Earlier in the day, Sen had beaten Sri Lanka’s Gunatilleke Sewmina, 21-11, 21-9 to advance to the pre-quarter-finals.
Along with Sen, the 15th seeded Kartikey Gulshan Kumar too bowed out in the same round, losing 17-21, 17-21 to China’s Li Shifeng.
With the twin defeats, the Indian challenge came to a premature end in the men’s singles category where Lakshya Sen was touted as the biggest medal hope.
Aakarshi Kashyap in quarters
Indians are still alive in the women’s singles section, though. The fifth seeded Aakarshi Kashyap has been in impeccable form en route to the quarter-finals and is yet to drop a game in the three matches she has played so far.
The 15-year-old first prevailed over Korea’s Ga Eun Park, 21-17, 21-15 and then followed it up with a 21-15, 21-15 victory over Indonesia’s Eprilia Mega Ayu Swastika.
She next faces the fourth seed Han Yue of China for a place in the semi-finals.
Ashmita Chaliha, meanwhile, lost in the second round.
Big upset in mixed doubles
The biggest news of the day for the Indian contingent came in mixed doubles where the pair of Dhruv Kapila and Mithula UK mustered courage to edge the eighth seeds Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob and Ribka Sugiarto, 15-21, 21-17, 21-19.
The giant-killers next take on the third seeds Sung Seung Na and Ah Yeong Seong in their quest for a semi-final berth.
The other team in this category - Krishna Prasad Garaga and Rutaparna Parna gave a tough fight to the top seeds Rinov Rinaldy and Angelica Wiratama only to ultimately fall short, 12-21, 22-20, 18-21.
In men’s doubles, the top seeded Indian combine of Garaga and Kapila continued their progress into the quarter-finals. The Indians faced some stiff resistance from the Chinese duo of Keng Chen and Yinzhi Tang before eking out an 18-21, 22-20, 21-13 win.
The Indian campaign has already ended in women’s doubles with none of the three Indian teams managing to cross the second round hurdle.