India progress to quarterfinals of World Junior Championships
India carved out a 2-1 win over Australia after an initial hiccup to ensure a place in the top eight competition from Pool B in the girls team event on Saturday in the WSF-world junior squash championship in Eindhoven in Netherlands.
Though seeded higher than Australia, the start was not auspicious with Adya Advani going down fighting to Lakeesha Rarere in five games after clawing back from two games down. One of the most improved junior in Australia now, Lakeesha showed the consistency that seemed to desert her after her stupendous start. But regaining it in time, Lakeesha made the difference finally. However the joy was shortlived for Australia. One match down in the tie, India looked up to the next two players Harshit Jawanda and Akanksha Salunkhe to save the situation and sure enough they responded well and decisively.
Harshit first breezed past Samantha Calvert in straight games inside 20 minutes to bring back relief on the Indians’ faces and Akanshka then provided the winning moments with another fluent display to get past Victoria Leow in style.
The victory meant India now plays higher ranked USA (seeded two), for the number one position in the Pool. A delighted national Coach Cyrus Poncha, who is with the team, said “ we have achieved the first target of getting into the top eight. The competition ahead is tough, the match against USA itself will be a task but the our strength is the good depth in talent. So let’s hope there are more moments of glory,” he said.
The result: Pool B: India bt Australia 2-1 (Adya Advani lost to Lakeesha