Junior World No. 9 Varun Kapur and Thailand’s Junior World No. 6 Benyapa Aimsaard were top-seeded in the boys’ singles and girls’ singles sections, respectively, in the Yonex Sunrise India Junior Badminton International Grand Prix to be held at the P E Society’s Modern PDMBA Sports Complex here from today.
The four-day tournament, which is also the only Grand Prix event to be played in India, is being held in memory of Sushant Chipalkatti.
With handsome prize money of $15,000 and Yonex Sunrise as the title sponsor, it will feature 249 participants from eight 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.
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