While the country revels in the success of badminton champions PV Sindhu, Srikanth Kidambi, and Saina Nehwal, a few young stars are making their mark. Gayatri Gopichand, the 14-year-old daughter of India's badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, and 16-year-old Lakshya Sen have registered contrasting wins in the women's and men's singles of the World Junior Badminton Championship in Indonesia.
Hailing from Almora, Uttarakhand, Lakshya is World No. 2 in the junior rankings and No. 104 in the BWF rankings. In 2016, he ranked 1,391 and the rise in his placement has come on the back of consistently solid performances. He is the third Indian after PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma to win a medal at the Badminton Asia Junior Championship.
In February this year, Gayatri won two national junior singles titles in Gulbarga. In this tournament, she overcame Brazil's Jaqueline Lima 15-21, 21-18, 21-11, while second seed Lakshya defeated Indonesia's Gatjra Piliang Fiqihila Cupu 21-15, 21-19. In women's singles, Aakarshi Kashyap, seeded eighth, dumped Czech Republic's Lucie Krpatova 21-13, 21-4, while Ashmita Chaliha beat France's Margot Lambert 21-13, 19-21, 21-13. Men's singles player Rahul Bharadwaj trounced Russia's Nikita Lemeshko 21-12, 21-9, while Kartikey Gulshan Kumar thrashed Sri Lanka's Ranthushka Sasindu 21-10, 21-17, said a PTI report.
In women’s doubles, Malvika Bansod and Deeksha Choudhary beat Macau’s I Kuan Ao and Xue Xin Gong 21-16 21-7, while the mixed doubles pair of Arintap Das Gupta and Srishti Jupudi defeated New Zealand’s Edward Lau and Alyssa Tagle 21-13 21-14, said an Indian Express report.
With inputs from PTI.