World Junior Championships: Lakshya Sen starts his campaign on a winning note
Second seed Lakshya Sen started his World Junior Championships 2017 challenge with a commanding 21-5, 21-5 win over Mate Balint of Hungary at Yogyakarta, Indonesia on Monday. The former junior World No. 1, who had a first round bye, needed just 17 minutes to storm into the third round where he will take on Indonesia’s World No. 44 Gatjra Piliang Fiqihila Cupu.
Lakshya, who won the Bulgarian International in August, led the Indian team to a sixth-place finish in the World Team Championships at the same venue last week.
In women’s singles, the eighth seeded Aakarshi Kashyap too was impressive in her second round match. She demolished Egypt’s Hana Hesham Mohamed 21-9, 21-4 in just 15 minutes to set up a third round meeting with Czech shuttler, Lucie Krpatova.
Double delight for Gayatri Gopichand and Rahul Bharadwaj
India’s chief national coach, Pullela Gopichand’s 14-year-old daughter, Gayatri Gopichand had double delight on the opening day of the championships. She first pummelled Poland’s Wiktoria Dabczynska 21-8, 21-12 and then followed it up with a 21-4, 21-11 win over South Africa’s Anicka Bestbier to advance to the third round.
Rahul Bharadwaj, who was the runner-up at the India Junior International Grand Prix in September, too notched up a couple of wins to make it through to the third round. He beat Mohamed Arsalaan Ali 21-3, 21-4 in the first round and then pulverized Alex Popov 21-5, 21-6 in the second round.
13th seed Kartikey Gulshan Kumar also progressed into Round 3, courtesy of a 21-7, 21-9 win over Poland’s Tymoteusz Malik.
Aryaman Tandon was the only Indian to bow out of the men’s singles draw. He lost to the sixth seeded Japanese shuttler, Kodai Naraoka 10-21, 12-21.
In women’s singles, Ashmita Chaliha had to fight hard for a 21-13, 14-21, 21-19 win over Vietnam’s Thi Phuong Thuy Tran while Purva Barve succumbed to a 21-19, 13-21, 16-21 defeat at the hands of Indonesia’s Asty Dwi Widyaningrum.
In men’s doubles, Sanjai Srivatsa Dhanraj and Siddarth Elango prevailed 21-10, 21-5 over Uriel Francisco Canjura Artiga and Carlos Henrriquez of El Salvador for a second round berth. The women’s doubles combine of Malvika Bansod and Deeksha Choudhary defeated Katherine Sarai Lara Guzman and Camila Navas 21-5, 21-6 in a first round encounter.
In mixed doubles, the Indian pair of Rutaparna Panda and Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile got a walkover into the second round.