Top seed Unnati Hooda led a selection of Indian shutters into the weekend at the Badminton Asia U-17 & U-15 Junior Championships 2022 in Nonthaburi, Thailand on Friday.
Hooda along with Gnana Dattu, Anish Thoppani and two doubles pairs marched into the semi-finals and given the format of the event, that assured the Indian contingent of five medals.
The pairs of Arsh Mohammad and Sanskar Saraswat (U17), and Bjorn Jaison and Aathish Sreenivas PV (U15) confirmed medals for India in the doubles category.
Indian shuttlers had grabbed five medals in 2018 while they won two in the 2019 edition. The prestigious continental event is being conducted after two years following the pandemic.
The junior World No. 4 Unnati continued her sensational run as she outclassed South Korea’s Min Ji Kim in the U-17 women’s singles quarter-finals in straight sets 21-15, 21-18.
The U17 top-seed Unnati will now face Japan’s Milon Yokouchi in the semi-finals.
Dattu and Anish, on the other hand, had to work hard in the U-15 men’s singles last-eight contests against their Indonesian opponents before they wrapped up the matches in three games.
While the seventh seeded Dattu got the better of fourth-seed Radithya Wardhana 21-11, 13-21, 21-11, Anish claimed a 22-20, 19-21, 21-12 win over fifth seeded Glend Rumondor to confirm the semi-final berth.
Dattu and Anish will be up against Chinese Taipei’s Chung-Hsiang Yih and Lee Yu-Jui respectively in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, in-form U-17 men’s doubles pair of Arsh and Sanskar earned a hard-fought victory against Indonesia’s Nawaf Khoiriyansyah and Adriel Leonardo by 24-22, 20-22, 21-15.
And then, the duo of Bjorn and Aathish added a second doubles medal to India’s tally when they clinched a come-from-behind 16-21, 21-12, 21-17 victory against Chinese Taipei’s Sheng-Ming Lin and Chla-Yu Tsai in the U-15 men’s doubles category.
Meanwhile, U-17 mixed doubles pair of Mayank Rana and Jiya Rawat and U-15 women’s doubles pair of Tanvi Andluri and Durga Kandrapu ended their campaigns with quarter-finals defeats.
Semi-finals will take place on Saturday while finals will be played on Sunday.