World Junior Championships: Big win for Gayatri Gopichand, Lakshya Sen progresses
Second seed Lakshya Sen made smooth progress into the fourth round of the World Junior Championships 2017 at Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday but the day belonged to the 14-year-old Gayatri Gopichand. The chief national coach Pullela Gopichand’s daughter came back from a game down to edge the higher-ranked Brazilian shuttler, Jaqueline Lima 15-21, 21-18, 21-11 in a 40-minute contest.
Considering that Lima is ranked 312th while Gayatri is unranked herself, it is a commendable feat.
Former junior World No. 1 Lakshya Sen beat Indonesia’s Gatjra Piliang Fiqihila Cupu 21-15, 21-19 in his third round match. Next up for him is Li Shifeng of China, who is 57th in the junior rankings.
13th seed Kartikey Gulshan Kumar beat Sri Lanka’s Ranthuska Sasindu 21-10, 21-17 to confirm his spot in the fourth round. Joining Sen and Kumar in the Round of 32 was the unseeded Rahul Bharadwaj BM, who got the better of Nikita Lemeshko 21-12, 21-9.
Aakarshi Kashyap breezes into 4th round
In women’s singles, eighth seed Aakarshi Kashyap and Ashmita Chaliha also made it through to the Round of 32. Kashyap was in devastating form in her 21-13, 21-4 rout of Czech Republic’s Lucie Krpatova.
In contrast, Chaliha had a tougher time and needed three games to dismiss French shuttler, Margot Lambert 21-13, 19-21, 21-13.
In men’s doubles, the third seeded combine of Dhruv Kapila and Krishna Prasad Garaga had a tough time but eventually managed to pull off a 21-16, 21-23, 21-16 win over Malaysians Yee Jun Chang and Eng Cheong NG en route to the third round.
They are the only Indian pair still in contention in this section.
The women’s doubles pair of Malvika Bansod and Deeksha Choudhary prevailed over Macau’s I Kuan Ao and Xue Xin Gong 21-16, 21-7 to enter the third round.
Seeded Indian pair upset in mixed doubles
Indian players did not have a flawless day in the mixed doubles category. The 15th seeded pair of Dhruv Kapila and U Mithula went down 18-21, 16-21 to the Chinese duo of Fan Qiuyue and Liu Xuanxuan in the second round.
Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile and Rutaparna Panda made it to the third round with a 21-16, 21-14 win over Gergo Pytel and Reka Madarasz. Also advancing were Arintap Das Gupta and Srishti Jupudi.
Indian players create history
The Indian shuttlers at the Junior World Championship created history, with as many as 10 out of the 18 Indians playing in the tournament making it to the round of 32 stages. This bodes well for the Indian shuttlers, as a country like China, which is known for producing some of the best shuttlers from the world, is just behind India, with nine representatives.