World Junior Team Championships: Indian shuttlers to meet Malaysia in quarter-finals
India finished the group phase unbeaten after edging the 9/16th seeded Sweden 3-2 at the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2017 in Yogjakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday. This was the first time the 5/8th seeded Indian team lost any match at this prestigious continental championships.
India were flawless in all the other three ties with a 5-0 victory over each of the 17/45th seeds Australia, Hungary and USA. With the four consecutive wins, they accumulated eight points to top Group D.
In the quarter-finals, India will face the 3/4th seeds Malaysia, who are yet to lose any match at this tournament.
In the India vs Sweden tie, Junior World No. 2 Lakshya Sen was spectacular in his 21-11, 21-9 rout of Colin Hammarberg in the men’s singles rubber. Sen is coming off a fabulous run in the senior circuit having captured his second career international title at the Bulgarian Open on his 16th birthday in August.
Ashmita Chaliha continued her winning run from Tuesday and notched up a 21-8, 21-14 win over Ashwathi Pillai in women’s singles.
Dhruv Kapila and Mithula UK conceded the middle game but rebounded in style to win the mixed doubles rubber 21-16, 16-21, 21-15 in 40 minutes.
Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila, both of whom are inside the top 10 of the junior men’s doubles rankings, could not live up to their reputation and went down 21-17, 20-22, 16-21 to Adam Gozzi and Carl Harrbacka in a 44-minute battle.
The women’s doubles combine of Rutaparna Panda and Mithula UK succumbed to a 22-24, 17-21 defeat to Ashwathi Pillai and Tilda Sjoo.
India looking to medal-winning run
The Indian contingent is looking to continue their successful run after securing an unprecedented four medals at the Asian Junior U-15 & U-17 Championships last week. 14-year-old Samiya Imad Farooqui was the star of the show, who came back from a game down to clinch the U-15 women’s singles gold in a hard-fought, thrilling summit clash.
The World Junior Mixed Team Championships is the second of the three tournaments that the Indian juniors are scheduled to play in as many weeks with the World Junior Individual Championships being the final event.