World Junior Team Championships: Indian shuttlers finish sixth after loss to Indonesia
The Indian contingent was looking to continue their successful run after a rich haul of medals at the Asian Junior Championships last week.
The young Indian brigade finished their campaign at the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2017 in the sixth place after losing to second seeds Indonesia 1-3 at Yogjakarta, Indonesia on Friday.
So far, India’s best performance at this tournament had been a fourth-place finish in 2008. They finished sixth in 2011 which they matched this year.
The 5/8th seeded India needed a win against Indonesia in the 5th-6th place play-off for a fifth place finish in a field of 45 teams. But the Indian contingent found the going too tough and soon started trailing the higher seeds 0-2 following losses in mixed doubles and men’s singles.
Dhruv Kapila and Rutaparna Panda were outclassed 11-21, 6-21 by Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti and Rinov Rivaldy in mixed doubles.
Junior World No. 18 Kartikey Gulshan Kumar then took the court against the 10th ranked Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay in men's singles. The gulf in the rankings was evident in their performances as the Indonesian pulled off a 21-16, 22-20 win in 46 minutes despite some stiff resistance from the Indian.
The men’s doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila then staved off a huge challenge from Muhammad Shohibul Fikri and Adnan Maulana for a 24-22, 23-21 win. That went on to remain as India’s solitary win of the tie as the World No. 9 Aakarshi Kashyap succumbed to a 14-21, 11-21 defeat at the hands of the third ranked Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in the subsequent women’s singles match.
India had outclassed France in the 5th-8th place play-off
Earlier on Thursday, India hammered the 5/8th seeded France 3-0 in the 5th-8th place play-off after going out of medal contention following a 0-3 loss to the 3/4th seeds Malaysia.
The mixed doubles team of Kapila and Panda held their nerves and delivered a hard-fought 20-22, 21-18, 24-22 win over Eloi Adam and Juliette Moinard.
World No. 2 Lakshya Sen too had to work extra hard to grind out a 20-22, 21-13, 21-9 win over the 19th ranked Christo Popov. Kashyap then finished the job by defeating the 62nd ranked Margot Lambert, 21-13, 21-13 in the women’s singles match.
Indian shuttlers next set their sights on the World Junior Individual Championships that begins at the same venue on Monday.
Also read: Unbeaten India shoot to top of group