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BAI announces 23-member squad for BWF World Junior Championship

IT News
New Delhi, September 4:

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) has announced the 23-member Indian squad that is set to participate at the BWF World Junior Championship 2019 to be held in Kazan, Russia from 30th September to 13th October 2019.
The boys’ singles challenge will be led by Tamil Nadu’s Sathish Kumar who has amassed an impressive total of 925 points from the All India Junior Ranking tournaments held in Panchkula and Bangalore in the month of August.
“While selecting the squad, BAI has looked into the performances of the young shuttlers at the two All India Junior Ranking tournaments held in Panchkula and Bangalore last month and considered the cumulative ranking points each of them earned,” said Ajay K Singhania, General Secretary, BAI.
The girls’ team will be spearheaded by Gujarat’s Tasnim Mir who secured a total of 813 points from the two ranking tournaments.
Besides Sathish, Nagpur’s Rohan Gurbani, Manipur’s Maisnam Meiraba and Pranav Rao Gandham of Telengana will be representing India in boys’ singles.
In girls’ singles category, Tasnim will be joined by Uttarakhand’s Aditi Bhatt and Unnati Bisht, and Karnataka’s Trisha Hegde.
While considering the player’s selection, each of the leg winners got 500 while the runner-up bagged 425. The rest of the points bifurcation are: semi-finals (388), quarter-finals (275) and pre-quarter-finals (192).
For the girls’ doubles, Aditi Bhatt and Goa’s Tanisha Crasto will be leading the Indian charge after securing back-to-back wins in the two ranking tournaments that gave them a whopping total of 1000 points. In the boys’ doubles category, Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Dingku Singh Konthoujam from Manipur will be the biggest hopes from the Indian contingent after topping the table with 852 points from two tournaments.
Tanisha Crasto will also lead the charge in mixed doubles with Chattisgarh partner Ishaan Bhatnagar after the pair’s brilliant run in the two ranking tournaments. The pair topped the ranking table after winning both the ranking tournaments and locking 1000 points with the wins.
At the previous edition, Lakshya Sen brought India’s fifth boys’ singles bronze medal from this prestigious tournament and the squad will hope to add to India’s medal count.
The coaching team will be headed by Junior National coach Sanjay Mishra and the team will be undergoing a training camp, starting September 13 in Bangalore that will continue till September 27.

Meiraba, Crasto-Bhatnagar go down fighting in finals of Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix

IT News
Pune, September 2,

India’s hopes of securing twin titles at home were dashed when boys’ singles second seed Meiraba Luwang and the mixed doubles pair of Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar both went down fighting in their respective finals at the Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix 2019, held in memory of Sushant Chipalkatti at the P E Society’s Modern PDMBA Sports Complex, here today.

The Russian Junior White Nights champion Meiraba Luwang, placed at the 15th spot in the World Junior Rankings, was the unanimous favourite for the boys’ singles crown against the 495th Ken Yon Ong. However, the Malaysian refused to let the huge gulf in the rankings matter when he overturned a slow start to secure a stunning 13-21, 21-19, 23-21 victory over the Manipur shuttler.

In the decider, Meiraba trailed at 13-16 only to claw his way back to level the game at 17-17. In a tight finish, the Indian had a match point at 20-19 which he was unable to convert in the face of the onslaught from the determined Ong, who completed the upset in 1 hour 7 minutes.

Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar’s dream of winning three titles in as many weeks failed to materialize when they went down 12-21, 22-20, 20-22 to second seeds Ratchapol Makkasasithorn and Benyapa Aimsaard in a grueling final. Goa’s Crasto and Chattisgarh’s Bhatnagar’s partnership had been working perfectly as they scooped up titles at All India Junior Ranking Tournaments in Panchkula and Bangalore over the last couple of weeks.

Even this week in Pune, they kept performing with a lot of confidence to seal upset victories over the top seeds Sirawit Sothon and Pornnicha Suwatnodom and fourth seeds Tsubasa Kawamura and Hinata Suzuki. However, even though they made a strong comeback after losing the first game in the final, they ultimately fell short.

In women’s singles, top seed Benyapa Aimsaard was crowned the champion after she managed to stave off a stiff resistance from second seed Riko Gunji. The Asian Junior Championships bronze medallist dropped the middle game and had to dig deep to pull off a 21-19, 18-21, 23-21 win in 61 minutes.

The girls’ doubles as well as the boys’ doubles sections witnessed a mini upset each. The Japanese third seeds Kaho Osawa and Hinata Suzuki outlasted the Thai top seeds Pornpicha Choeikeewong and Pornnicha Suwatnodom 13-21, 21-15, 21-14 to win the girls’ doubles title in 50 minutes. In boys’ doubles, Malaysian fifth seeds Jhy Dar Ooi and Roy King Yap toppled the Japanese third seeds Takuma Kawamoto and Tsubasa Kawamura 17-21, 21-16, 23-21.

India’s Varun Kapur and Thailand’s Benyapa Aimsaard headline draws at Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix 2019

Pune, August 29

On the heels of PV Sindhu and Sai Praneeth achieving grand success at the BWF World Championships 2019, India is gearing up to host the Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix 2019, in memory of Sushant Chipalkatti here at the P E Society’s Modern PDMBA Sports Complex from August 29. The four-day tournament, which is also the only Grand Prix event to be played in India, will see India’s Junior World No. 9 Varun Kapur and Thailand’s Junior World No. 6 Benyapa Aimsaard heading the draws in the boys’ singles and girls’ singles sections respectively.
With handsome prize money of $15000 and Yonex Sunrise as the title sponsor, it will feature 249 participants from 8 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Uganda, Bangladesh, Nepal and an encouraging a number of Indian promise.
Kapur’s main challenger will be his compatriot, Meiraba Luwang, currently ranked 15th in boys’ singles, especially after succumbing to the Manipur shuttler in the final of the Russian Junior White Nights 2019 in July. In girls’ singles, the inclusion of the two rising Thai stars, Benyapa Aimsaard and Pornpicha Choeikeewong heightens the challenge for the other girls in the draw.
While Aimsaard captured the bronze at the Asian Junior Championships this year, Pornpicha, the fourth seed and Junior World No. 20, has been a consistent performer and made it to the final of the Mongolia Junior International Series in June.
India’s Smit Toshniwal, Tanya Hemanth and Treesa Jolly have occupied the sixth, seventh and eighth spots in the seedings in this category and will hope to ride on the vociferous home support to put up impressive performances.
In girls’ doubles, all eyes will be on the dominant fourth-seeded duo of Tanisha Crasto and Aditi Bhatt as they look to bring their imperious form from their twin-title winning run at the All India Junior Ranking tournaments held in Panchkula and Bangalore over the last couple of weeks.
Ishaan Bhatnagar and Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala made a brilliant run to the summit showdown at the Bulgaria Junior International recently only to fall at the last hurdle. The fourth-seeded boys’ doubles pair will look to make amends and taste glory at home.
Fifth seeds Navaneeth Bokka-Sahithi Bandi and eighth seeds Edwin Joy-Shruti Mishra will be the ones to watch in mixed doubles.
Hosted by the Maharashtra Badminton Association (MBA) & Poona District & Metropolitan Badminton Association (PDMBA) along with local organiser, Laxmi Krida Mandir Club, Pune, the prestigious junior tournament will hope for a homegrown champion a year after Aakarshi Kashyap triumphed in girls’ singles while the boys’ singles title went to Indonesia’s Ikhsan Leon Rumbay.
 The tournament will be inaugurated today by Mr Annasaheb Natu, Sr. Vice President, PDMBA.

India’s junior women boxers win 4 gold as the team finishes with 12 medals at 3rd Nation’s Cup

New Delhi, August 20,

India’s junior women boxers completed their campaign with a rich haul of four gold, four silver and four bronze medals at the 3rd Nation’s Cup in Vrbas, Serbia on Sunday. While the contingent won the Runners-up trophy, India’s 48kg gold medallist Tamanna, who blanked Russia’s Alena Tremasova 5-0 in the final, picked up the coveted ‘Best Foreign Boxer’ award.
The other three gold medals were brought by Ambeshori Devi in 57kg, Preeti Dahiya in 60kg and Priyanka in 66kg. Manipur’s Ambeshori and Haryana’s Dahiya continued their fine runs from the Black Forest Cup in June to secure a hard-fought 3-2 win over Sweden’s Duna Sipel and Ukraine’s Kristina Kartavtseva respectively.
Haryana girl Priyanka, meanwhile, was absolutely flawless and secured a commanding 5-0 win over Russia’s Olga Petrashko.
In 50kg, Karnataka’s Anju Devi failed to repeat her heroics from the Black Forest Cup and had to settle for a silver after going down to Russia’s Anastasiia Kirienko 0-5. In 52kg, Maharashtra’s rising star Simran Verma lost to Russia’s Valeriia Linkova 0-5 while Haryana’s Manshi Dalal (75kg) and Punjab’s Tanishbir Kaur Sandhu (80kg) suffered a 0-5 defeat at the hands of Hungary’s Varga Boglarka and Russia’s Maria Proskunova respectively to grab the other three silver medals.
Goa’s Aashreya Naik gave her all in a gruelling 63kg semi-final bout but eventually had to taste a 2-3 defeat against local hope Aleksandra Tepavac to bag a bronze. Russia’s Viktoriya Zastryalina edged India’s Neha 3-2 in 54kg semi-finals forcing the Indian to remain content with just a bronze.
Khushi (70kg) and Alfiya Akram Khan Pathan (+80kg) delivered the rest of the bronze medals having lost to Norway’s Nofstad Sunniva and Russia’s Valeriia Vorontsova respectively by 0-5. Ragini in 46kg was the only Indian who wasn’t successful in getting a medal.
160 boxers from 20 countries had participated in this prestigious tournament. India had sent a 13-member squad out of which 12 returned home with medals, which speaks volumes of India’s upcoming boxing talent.

Assam Rifles Archers Shine At World Police And Fire Games In China

IGAR (South)
Imphal Aug 19,

Three archers of Assam Rifles Archery team trained by 9 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR (South) have bagged a rich haul of five Gold, three Silver and one Bronze medals at the recently concluded World Police and Fire Games held in Chengdu, China from 9 to 18 August 2019.
Two male archers Rifleman G Robert Sharma, who hails from Manipur, clinched three Gold medals in the Compound bow archery events while Rifleman Z Demo, a resident of Nagaland, bagged one Gold, one Silver and one Bronze medals in the Wooden bow events.   
Mahila Rifleman SP Lydia, who hails from Manipur, won one Gold and two Silver medals in the woman’s category in the Wooden bow events.
While Rifleman G Robert Sharma had earlier won three Gold medals in the previous World Police and Fire Games at Los Angeles in 2017, the other two archers participated for the first time at international level.
Each Archer could participate in only three archery events at the World Police and Fire Games. The three archers participated in the Bare Target, Field Archery and 3 D Archery events winning medals in each of the three events they participated in.
A reception and felicitation ceremony is being planned for the archers on their return to Imphal.

Meiraba triumphs; double delight for Tanisha and Aditi at Yonex Sunrise Krishna Khaitan All-India Junior Ranking Tournament

Panchkula, August 19,

 Maisnam Meiraba continued his dominance in the junior circuit while both Tanisha Crasto and Aditi Bhatt capped a memorable campaign with twin titles at the Yonex-Sunrise 28th Smt. Yonex Sunrise Krishna Khaitan All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament 2019 here on Sunday.
Junior World No. 15 Maisnam Meiraba Luwang, top seeded at this tournament, was unstoppable in his 21-12, 21-11 demolition of second seed Sathish Kumar K. The in-form Manipur shuttler,  who won the White Night Junior last month, was challenged only once in six matches this week, where he dropped a game to eighth seed Sarath D in the quarter-finals.
In girls’ singles, sixth seed Aditi Bhatt showed steely nerves and resilience in her 22-20, 13-21, 22-20 marathon win over the top seed Unnati Bisht that needed 1 hour 18 minutes to complete. This was the second consecutive three-game match that the feisty girl played following her 21-15, 14-21, 21-16 win over seventh seed Aashi Rawat in the semi-finals.’
Bhatt made it a double delight when she teamed up with Goa’s Tanisha Crasto to take the girls’ doubles title as well. The second seeds stormed back from a slow start to eke out a 17-21, 21-19, 21-17 win over seventh seeds Khushi Gupta and Drithi Yatheesh.
Crasto found success in the mixed doubles category as well, where she partnered Ishaan Bhatnagar to outlast Dhruv Rawat and Trisha Hegde 20-22, 21-16, 21-13.
In boys’ doubles, the title went to fifth seeds Iman Sonowal of Assam and Yash Raikwar of Madhya Pradesh in yet another surprising result of the day. The boys put up a brilliant performance to upset the top seeds Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Dingku Singh Konthoujam 21-12, 21-15.
This was the first of the selection tournaments for the BWF World Junior Championships to be held in Kazan, Russia from October 7-13. The second selection tournament is scheduled for next week in Bangalore.

Indian shuttlers win a gold and two silver medals at World Senior Badminton Championships

New Delhi, August 14,

Indian shuttlers finished their campaign on a high with a gold and two silver medals at the BWF World Senior Badminton Championships 2019 in Katowice, Poland on Sunday. While Vijay Lancy Mascarenhas and Ajeet Hari Dass won Gold in 40plus Men’s Doubles category, Manjusha Sudhir Sahasrabudhe and the pair of Prabhu Naik Naidu Kona and Suzanne Venglet settled for silver in 55 Plus women’s singles and 50 Plus mixed doubles categories respectively.
Former national level players, Mascarenhas and Dass made a superb comeback in their 19-21, 21-17, 21-19 upset win over the 3/4th seeds Esben B. Kaempegaard and Morten Eilby Rasmussen of Denmark in the summit clash.
Manjusha Sudhir Sahasrabudhe made a bright start to her final against the top seed Zhou Xin of Hong Kong but went down fighting 21-14, 13-21, 13-21 in 37 minutes. Kona and Venglet’s superb run came to an end at the hands of English top seeds Rajeev Bagga and Elizabeth Austin, 13-21, 14-21.
Mascarenhas and Dass dedicated their medal to acclaimed coach Sudhakar Reddy, who passed away due to a cardiac arrest while the tournament was in progress. “Coming back from a game down to win the title against a seeded pair gives us immense satisfaction. We would like to dedicate this medal to Shri Sudhakar Reddy, who was not just a celebrated coach but also an inspiration to us all,” said Mascarenhas.
More than 1500 players from 56 countries had participated in 45 categories in this prestigious tournament in different age groups. The next edition of this tournament will be held in Spain after a couple of years.

Yashwardhan and Bharat clinch gold as Indian boxers finish with 8 medals at Asian School Boy Boxing

By a Correspondent
New Delhi, August 10,

 In a stellar display, Indian junior boxers collected a rich haul of 8 medals, including two gold, five silver and one bronze to finish their campaign on a high at the Asian schoolboy Boxing Championships in Kuwait, on Thursday.  India’s strong performance awarded them the runner-up finish at the tournament, where 22 nations had participated.
Gold medallist in the recently concluded Sub-Junior Nationals, Yashwardhan Singh (58 kg) continued his fine run and defeated Uzbekistan’s Aburakhimanov Abdulaziz 4-1. The budding youngster from Haryana took some time to gauge his opponent’s strategy and then, overpowered him with his power and precision.
In the 70 kg category, Bharat Joon proved too strong for Asanbekov Atai, his opponent from Kyrgyzstan and easily won the bout 5-0 to clinch the second gold medal.The Haryana lad impressed everyone with his attacking approach and swift movement.
In the 37 kg finals, Aryan missed out on the gold medal by a whisker as he lost 3-2 to Uzbekistan’s Hojiakbar Mahmudov. The diminutive boxer from Chandigarh gave his all in a neck-and-neck fight between the two boxers but had to be content with the silver medal.
Vinay Vishkarma (49kg) found the going tough in the first round against Tulkonov Lazizbek of Uzbekistan before giving a tough fight in the next two rounds. He went down 3-2 and fell short of winning the yellow metal.
Preet Malik (55kg), Gaurav Saini (64kg) and Randeep (70+kg) lost their respective bouts and finished their campaign with silver medals. Earlier, Naksh Beniwal won the bronze medal in the 67 kg before bowing out in the semi-finals stage.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty wins India’s biggest men’s doubles  title at Thailand Open

New Delhi, Aug. 5,

 India’s top men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty created history by stunning reigning world champions Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 to claim their biggest career title at the Thailand Open in Bangkok on Sunday. Their win was even more significant for this was not only their first triumph at Super 500 level and above but this was also the most prestigious doubles title for India since the inception of the ranking system.
This achievement will also propel the current World No. 16 duo into the top 10 for the first time, making them the first-ever Indian men’s doubles duo to enter the elite bracket.
Satwik showed brilliant anticipation and it was his extraordinary placements from the front court that stood out in the thrilling final that lasted 1 hour 2 minutes. With Chirag controlling the backcourt effortlessly, the duo combined to take the match away from the third seeds and World No. 2 pair who had beaten the Indians at the Australian Open this year.
It was a smart strategy by coach Dwi Kristiawan to keep the 18-year-old stationed at the frontcourt that was essentially more out of necessity since Satwik had been experiencing slight shoulder pain. Playing back-to-back marathon matches for three days in a row affected him but physio Johnson Solomon and recovery specialist Srinivas G worked hard on him to make sure it didn’t curb his natural play. The duo just played lights out since they had nothing to lose.
“When we played them at the Australian Open, we lost to them very closely. We understood they were under pressure today but we had none since we were very excited to play our first final. I have some shoulder issues so we had decided that I would play more from the front and Chirag from the back. I was focussing more on the service and the net,” explained Rankireddy.
The young Indian pair started attacking from the word go with the same confidence and conviction they showed throughout the week during their wins over the World No. 7 Fajar Alfian/Muhammad Rian Ardianto, World No. 19 Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol, and World No. 27 Choi Solgyu/Seo Seung Jae.
Satwik’s ability to read his opponents’ serves correctly helped his returns and very soon the Indians opened up a 10-6 lead. With the Chinese speeding up the game after the mid-game interval, the tide turned their way for a brief period before Satwik’s superb flick serve fetched them a game point which they converted.

Lovlina, Neeraj clinch gold as Indian boxers finish with 6 medals at Umakhanov Memorial

IT News
New Delhi, August 4,

 World Championships bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and India Open gold medallist Neeraj (57kg) won gold medals while Gaurav Solanki (56kg) had to settle for the silver as Indian boxers finished their campaign on a high with a rich haul of two gold, one silver and three bronze at the Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament 2019 in Kaspiysk, Russia on Saturday.
Having had to taste a bitter 2-3 defeat at the hands of Assunta Canfora at the India Open final, Lovlina was better prepared this time to tackle the wily Italian. The tall Assamese boxer was on guard throughout the bout and never shied away from raining down her flurry of punches to grab a narrow 3-2 win over Canfora.
After capturing the India Open silver and a bronze from the Strandja Cup, Lovlina’s efforts and dedication have been rewarded with her first international gold medal of the year.
Neeraj, who had caused a big upset in the semi-finals by stunning former world champion Alessia Mesiano 3-2, continued her impeccable form in the summit clash against Russia’s Malika Shakhidova. With two of the judges’ points being drawn at 28-28, the Strandja Cup bronze medallist Neeraj went on to register a commanding 3-0 victory over the Russian.
While Lovlina and Neeraj dazzled in their respective finals, India failed to have a flawless day as Gaurav Solanki succumbed to a 0-5 defeat to Uzbekistan’s Abdulkhay Sharakhmatov. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist was unable to judge his opponent’s pace and power and could never recover from the early blows.
Reigning Asian Championships gold medallist Pooja Rani suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat to home favourite Anna Anfinogenova in the middleweight (75kg) semi-finals and had to be content with the bronze.
Govind Sahani (49Kg) and Jony (60Kg) also grabbed bronzes after their semi-final losses. While Govind lost to Russia’s Kurban Bayranbekov 1-4, Jony went down to Russia’s Natalya Shadrina by a similar scoreline.

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