Unseeded Indian duo Ayush Agarwal and Tushar Gagneja emerged as men’s doubles champions at the Croatia Valamar Junior Open 2021 badminton tournament. The tournament concluded in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on Sunday.
Yash Suryavanshi had to be satisfied with the bronze medal. The Thane teenager went down fighting against fifth seed Yohan Barbieri of France on Sunday.
Ayush Agarwal and Tushar Gagneja stunned second seeds Yohan Barbieri and Loan Peillet of France. They defeated the French duo 21-16, 21-17 in 36 minutes in the men's doubles summit clash.
Ayush and Tushar raised their level of play against the higher-ranked French pair to emerge as international champions for the first time in their careers.
The Indian duo accounted for Anel Hac Gyorkos and Mark Koroša of Slovenia also in straight games in the semi-finals.
Ayush and Tushar upset top seeds in quarter-finals
Ayush and Tushar’s toughest encounter was against the top seeds whom they faced in the quarter-finals.
In an exciting quarter, Ayush and Tushar toppled top seeds Iljo Van Delsen and Yaro Van Delsen of Belgium. The Indian pair lost their first game but bounced back gallantly to clinch a hard-fought 17-21, 21-16, 21-15 win.
Yash Suryavanshi goes down to fifth seed Yohan Barbieri of France in the semis
Unseeded Yash Suryavanshi of Thane surprised everyone by entering the semis. 18-year-old Yash won four tough rounds in a couple of days to ensure a medal in his maiden international appearance.
However, in the semis, Yash could not get the better of a higher ranked opponent. Tall teenage shuttler Yash fought bravely but lost against France’s Yohan Barbieri 17-21, 16-21 in 36 minutes.
In a thrilling first round, Yash, a trainee of TMC’s Syed Modi Badminton Academy, defeated Adriano Aguirre of Peru. He won 22-20, 19-21, 21-15 in a match which lasted for 55 minutes.
In the second round, Yash overcame the challenge of England’s Adarsh Palani Kumar 21-14, 21-14. He was up against another England player, Harry Jones, whom he defeated in straight games 21-7, 21-10.
In the quarter-finals, Yash upset junior national champion Norway's Thomas Barth 21-12, 21-15.
Thane Academy senior coaches Shrikant Vad and Mayur Ghatnekar were pleased with Yash’s performance. Yash is the reigning Under-19 boys’ singles champion of Maharashtra.
Ayush Agarwal-Tushar Gagneja’s road to triumph
Pre-quarterfinal: Ayush Agarwal-Tushar Gagneja bt Roko Pipunić-Ivor Zekan (Croatia) 21-14, 21-11 (29 minutes)
Quarter-final: Ayush Agarwal-Tushar Gagneja bt 1-Iljo Van Delsen-Yaro Van Delsen (Belgium) 17-21, 21-16, 21-15 (55 minutes)
Semi-final: Ayush Agarwal-Tushar Gagneja bt Anel Hac Gyorkos-Mark Koroša (Slovenia) 21-11, 21-17 (26 minutes)
Final: Ayush Agarwal-Tushar Gagneja bt 2-Yohan Barbieri-Loan Peillet (France) 21-16, 21-17 (36 minutes).