Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Thursday announced a 23-member squad, which will participate in the Asian Junior Championship in Suzhou, China, beginning July 20. The Indian team will be undergoing a camp for fifteen days starting July 3 in Panchkula, Haryana. The boys’ singles challenge will be spearheaded by Manipur’s Maisnam Meiraba Luwang, who has amassed an impressive total of 1,000 points, by virtue of a fine run in the domestic circuit winning consecutive four domestic junior titles as well as both the selection tournaments. The girls’ team will be spearheaded by the Airport Authority of India’s Malvika Bansod.
BAI has considered the cumulative ranking points from the two All India Junior Ranking tournaments held in Chennai and Trivandrum in May while selecting the squad, said BAI general secretary Ajay K Singhania. Meiraba topped the chart in the boys’ singles section, the others joining him will be the Tamil Nadu trio of Sathish Kumar, Sidhant Gupta, and Sankar Muthuswamy. In girls’ singles, AAI Malvika Bansod will be joined by Delhi’s Ashi Rawat, Unnati Bisht of Uttarakhand and the 2017 U-15 Asian Junior Championships gold medallist Samiya Imad Farooqui from Telangana. While considering the player’s selection, each of the leg winners gets 500 while the runner-up bags 425. The rest of the points bifurcation are — semi-finals (350), quarter-finals (275) and pre-quarter-finals (192).
Ishaan Bhatnagar and Vishnuvardhan Goud will be leading India’s challenge in the boys’ doubles section. Aditi Bhatt and Tanisha Crasto will be the ones to watch in girls’ doubles as they topped the points table with 926 points while the in-form pair of K Dingku Sing and Ritika Thakkar will be India’s mainstay in the mixed doubles. At the previous edition held in Indonesia, India won gold after 54 years, courtesy Lakshya Sen who won the Boys’ singles title. The Coaching team will be headed by Junior National Coach, Sanjay Mishra, and former India players Chetan Anand and Arun Vishnu among others as coaches.
Following are the squad:
Boys: Maisnam Meiraba, Sathish Kumar K, Sidhanth Gupta, S Muthuswamy, Ishaan Bhatnagar, Vishnuvardhan Goud, Manjit Singh, K Dingku Sing, PS Ravi Krishna, Manav Raj Smith, Edwin Joy, Riza Mahreen
Girls: Malvika Bansod, Ashi Rawat, Samiya Imad Farooqui, Unnati Bishth, Aditi Bhatt, Tanisha Crasto, Treesa Jolly, VS Varshini, Simran Singhi, Ritika Thakkar
Asian Junior Championship is scheduled to take place in Suzhou, China, from July 20 to 28.