BWF World Juniors: India’s campaign ends with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Kuhoo Garg’s quarter-final loss
Indian duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Kuhoo Garg gave their all in their mixed doubles quarter-final match against the 16th seeds Tang Jie Chen and Ee Wei Toh of Malaysia at the BWF World Junior Championships Eye-Level Cups 2016 in Bilbao, Spain on Friday. But in the end, they fell short, albeit by a very small margin, as they went down 21-13, 12-21, 19-21 in 49 minutes.
They were the only Indian shuttlers to reach the quarter-finals at this prestigious event. With their loss, the Indian campaign thus ended at the BWF World Juniors, unable to replicate the magic created by Siril Verma last year when he clinched the silver medal in men’s singles. Siril did not take part this year.
Double whammy for Rankireddy
Rankireddy was the best performing Indian this year who suffered a narrow loss in the men’s doubles section as well. Seeded eighth, he and Krishna Prasad Garaga fought hard in the pre-quarter-finals only to eventually concede a 21-18, 16-21, 20-22 defeat to the Korean combine of Hong Sub Lee and Su-Min Lim in a 65-minute battle.
Lakshya Sen: The best-performing Indian in singles
Earlier in men’s singles, 15-year-old Lakshya Sen put up a brave effort in the pre-quarters but it was not enough to overcome the challenge of the fifth-seeded Sun Feixiang. The Chinese went on to eke out a 21-17, 8-21, 21-13 victory in 57 minutes.
Shikha Gautam, who had ousted the 10th seed Joy Lai in the third round of women’s singles, also could not sustain that same level against an opponent as dangerous as the second-seeded Chen Yufei of China. Gautam bowed out with a 13-21, 10-21 fifth round defeat that lasted just 26 minutes.
15-year-old Aakarshi Kashyap, who too had been impressive, crashed out a round earlier. Kashyap had accounted for the 15th seed Reka Madarasz in Round 3 before succumbing to a 15-21, 7-21 defeat to Natsuki Oie of Japan, who later upset the top seed in the next round.
Kanika Kanwal too fell in the same round as Kashyap after going down 11-21, 7-21 to the fifth seed Ga Eun Kim of Korea.