World Junior Championships: Gayatri Gopichand continues to excel, Lakshya Sen advances
Chief Indian national coach Pullela Gopichand’s 14-year-old daughter, Gayatri put on a show at the World Junior Championships 2017 at Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday that very much belied her age. Gopichand came back from a game down to edge the higher-ranked Danish shuttler, Michelle Skodstrup 19-21, 21-18, 21-17 in a 56-minute battle to enter the Round of 16.
Gayatri is now the only Indian to have made it through to the last-16 in women’s singles at this edition as all other Indian shuttlers have bowed out of that category.
The Indian teen is way below the 872nd ranked Skodstrup in the BWF women’s singles rankings at 1031st. But the gulf in the rankings did not matter as the 14-year-old held her nerves for the win.
Gayatri next takes on the sixth seeded Cai Yanyan of China for a place in the quarter-finals.
As Gayatri soared, eighth seed Aakarshi Kashyap and Ashmita Chaliha fell by the wayside. Kashyap succumbed to a 16-21, 18-21 fourth round defeat at the hands of the Vietnamese shuttler, Thi Anh Thu Vu.
Chaliha put up a brave fight but eventually went down fighting 22-24, 21-19, 17-21 to the ninth seeded Chasinee Korepap of Thailand.
Lakshya continues to flourish, Kartikey wins
In men’s singles, the second seeded Lakshya Sen and the 13th seeded Kartikey Gulshan Kumar made it through to the Round of 16.
The Bulgarian International winner Sen notched up a commanding 21-16, 21-11 victory over China’s Li Shifeng. The junior World No. 2 next faces the unseeded Muhammad Rehan Diaz of Indonesia in his quest for a quarter-final spot.
Kartikey Gulshan Kumar was equally impressive in his 21-15, 21-12 rout of Canada’s Brian Yang. He next takes on the eighth seeded Nhat Nguyen of Ireland.
Rahul Bharadwaj BM did not share the same fortunes and went down 19-21, 21-10, 14-21 to the 11th seed Arnaud Merkle in the fourth round.
Men’s doubles pair keeps title hopes alive
The third seeded men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila kept their title hopes alive by advancing to the Round of 16, courtesy of a 21-12, 21-16 win over the Korean team of Tae Yang Shin and Chan Wang. They will next meet the 11th seeds Rinov Rivaldy and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob of Indonesia.
The Indian contention ended in the third round in both the women’s doubles and the mixed doubles sections. In women’s doubles, the Indian pair of Malvika Bansod and Deeksha Choudhary was beaten 21-14, 21-13 by the 16th seeds Vimala Heriau and Leonice Huet of France.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile and Rutaparna Panda was ousted 15-21, 21-14, 18-21 by the Thai combine of Natthapat Trinkajee and Kwanchanok Sudjaipraparat. They were joined on the sidelines by the duo of Arintap Das Gupta and Srishti Jupudi, who lost 13-21, 21-16, 7-21 to the fourth seeds Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob and Angelica Wiratama.