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.