Over 1,000 young shuttlers will be vying for honours in the Microplex Global and Yonex Sunrise All-India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament which commences in Chennai on Tuesday. All eyes will be on the Under-19 girls singles top seed Pullela Gayatri Gopichand, daughter of India coach Gopichand. The 16-year-old Hyderabad lass will face challenge from Chhattisgarh’s Aakarshi Kashyap, with whom she has been involved in some close matches. With the tournament doubling up as a selection event for the coming Junior Asian Badminton Championship in China, interesting contests are in store, the organisers said.
Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod and Unnati Bisht would be the other prominent players in the fray. In the boys section, Madhya Pradesh’s Priyanshu Rajawat, the top-seed, will be the one to watch out for. Manipur’s Maisnam Meiraba is expected to provide the challenge along with Chennai lad Sankar Muthusamy, a bronze medalist in last year’s ABC, Sai Charan Koya, K Sathish Kumar and Aakash Yadav.
Tamil Nadu Badminton Association secretary Arunachalam said top juniors from across the country would be in action and fans could expect some interesting contests. Thirty-two boys and girls have been given direct entries into the main draw while eight each in the three doubles categories–Boys, Girls and Mixed. Over 500 boys and 220 girls from different parts of the country will battle it out in the qualifying rounds.