World Junior Team Championships: Indian shuttlers drub Team USA in opener
Indian shuttlers made a thunderous start to their title aspirations with a one-sided victory over the USA at the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2017 in Yogjakarta, Indonesia on Monday. Junior World No. 2 Lakshya Sen led the 5/8th seeded Indian team to a flawless 5-0 victory over the 17/45th seeded USA in the Group D encounter.
Sen was dominant in his 21-11, 21-11 triumph over Yuteng Wu that took just 20 minutes.
In the women’s singles match, the junior World No. 38 Purva Barve needed 30 minutes to see off the lower-ranked Bianca Tam, 21-17, 24-22.
In the doubles matches, India dropped just one game. Dhruv Kapila and Krishna Prasad Garaga, both of whom are in the top 10 of the junior world rankings, conceded a hard-fought middle game but pulled off a 21-19, 22-24, 21-18 win over the spirited duo of Ricky Liuzhou and Cadmus Yeo in 37 minutes.
The Indians had made it to the quarter-finals of the Asian Junior Championships (Individual event) held in July.
Dhruv Kapila and Mithula UK, who had reached the quarter-finals of the Asian Juniors, had no such trouble in their mixed doubles match with the American combine of Stephen Ding and Cindy Yuan. The Indians emerged a 21-9, 21-18 winner.
In the women’s doubles section, Rutaparna Panda and Mithula UK were equally impressive and registered a 21-18, 21-17 win over Breanna Chi and Bianca Tam.
India top Group D after Day 1
With this win, India are now toppers of Group D with the 9/16th seeded Sweden right behind them. The latter had mixed fortunes on Day 1 of the championships. Having started off their campaign with a shock 2-3 loss to the USA, they rebounded with a narrow 3-2 win over the 17/45th Hungary in a later match.
India had only one match on Monday but they have double duty on Day 2 with a face-off against Hungary in the morning, followed by a clash with Australia in the afternoon.
India’s group commitments will finish with a meeting with the 9/16th seeded Sweden on Wednesday.
The Indian contingent is looking to continue their successful run after an unprecedented haul of four medals at the Asian Junior U-15 & U-17 Championships last week where 14-year-old Samiya Farooqui clinched the U-15 women’s singles gold.