India improved their performance in the mixed team event of the BWF World Junior Championships in Spokane, USA after qualifying for the quarterfinals, where they went down to Malaysia.
The Indian team had finished 13th in the 2022 edition of the tournament but topped their group this time around, qualifying for the quarterfinals and eventually finishing 7th overall.
India suffered a 3-0 defeat to Malaysia in the quarters, with Ayush Shetty, Devika Sihag, and the pair of Sathwik and Vaishnavi all losing their respective matches. However, the 3-0 scoreline does not show the real picture of India’s performance in the tie or the tournament. Both Ayush and Devika lost a close, hard-fought match against their Malaysian counterparts, in three games.
In the group stage, India displayed their dominance and began with a 5-0 victory over the Cook Islands, followed by another 5-0 victory against Brazil. The Indian shuttlers also won 4-1 against higher-ranked Germany.
The team from the Dominican Republic failed to show up and gave a walkover in all their matches, helping India complete their group-stage campaign without a single loss.
There were several noteworthy performances by the Indian junior shuttlers:
Ayush Shetty stood out in the men's singles category, winning both his matches. He defeated opponents from the Cook Islands and Germany without dropping a single game. Lokesh Reddy also secured a victory against his Brazilian counterpart.
In the women's singles category, Tara Shah, Devika Sihag, and Unnati Hooda all delivered outstanding performances with wins against the Cook Islands, Brazil, and Germany, respectively. Tara also won her match in the 7th-place match against Thailand.
The doubles pairs were equally impressive. The Indian pairs of Sathwik Reddy K/Vaishnavi Khadkekar, Nicholas Nathan Raj/Tushar Suveer, and Radhika Sharma/Tanvi Sharma won their matches against the Cook Islands.
Samarveer/Radhika Sharma, Divyam Arora/Mayank Arora, and Vennala K/Shriyanshi Valishetty also secured wins in their respective doubles matches against Brazil.
Sathwik Reddy K/Vaishnavi Khadkekar and Vennala K/Shriyanshi Valishetty also won their mixed doubles and women's doubles matches against Germany, while Samarveer/Radhika Sharma and Divyam Arora/Mayank Arora won their respective matches in the 7th-place match against Thailand.
In the 5-8th-place matches, India suffered a 3-0 defeat against Japan before beating Thailand 3-1 to secure 7th place.
With a commendable performance in the mixed-team event, India’s juniors will now take the court in the individual events at the BWF World Junior Championships.
India has already begun their campaign in the individual events, with Unnati Hooda, Sathwik/Vaishnavi, Samarveer/Radhika, Lokesh Reddy, Tushar Suveer, Ayush Shetty, Divyam/Mayank, and Devika Sihag all securing wins in their respective matches.