World Junior Championships: Lakshya Sen enters quarter-finals, Gayatri Gopichand exits
Junior World No. 2 Lakshya Sen continues his serene progress at the BWF World Junior Championships 2017 as he made it through to the quarter-finals in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Thursday. The second seed needed 36 minutes to prevail over Indonesia’s Muhammad Rehan Diaz, 21-12, 21-12 in the fifth round match.
The 16-year-old is now the last Indian standing at this prestigious tournament following the departure of the 13th seed Kartikey Gulshan Kumar in men’s singles, Gayatri Gopichand in women’s singles and the third seeded men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila.
Sen next faces the sixth seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan, who is in 14th place in the junior world rankings.
Lakshya has been in devastating form at this tournament and has not conceded any game in the four matches that he has played so far. Sen has been showing impressive maturity all season that resulted in his title win at the Bulgaria International in August.
Gayatri’s brave run ends
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Gayatri Gopichand’s brave run came to an end in the fifth round. She was shown the door by the sixth seeded Chinese Cai Yanyan, who beat her 21-7, 21-11 in just 24 minutes
The chief national coach Pullela Gopichand’s daughter had been a giant-killer at this tournament on her debut. The junior World No. 1031 had accounted for higher ranked opponents in her last two matches.
But against the seeded Chinese, the youngster just ran out of steam.
In men’s singles, the 13th seeded Kartikey Gulshan Kumar squandered a one-game lead to slump to a 21-18, 15-21, 13-21 defeat to the eighth seeded Nhat Nguyen of Ireland in 1 hour 2 minutes.
A lot of expectations were from the third seeded men’s doubles team of Garaga and Kapila. However, they failed to deliver as they went down 17-21, 17-21 to the 11th seeds Rinov Rivaldy and Yeremia Erich Yoche Yacob of Indonesia in a pre-quarter-final clash that lasted 33 minutes.
The Indian contingent is looking to win junior medals for the second time in three weeks. They had an unprecedented haul of four medals from the Asian U-17 and U-15 Junior Championships which included a gold medal in U-15 women’s singles won by Samiya Imad Farooqui.