Sixth seed Lakshya Sen was the only Indian singles player who managed to reach the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in Jakarta on Thursday.
Sen accounted for Japan’s Riku Hatano 21-6, 18-21, 21-15 in the third round, before beating 11th seed Saran Jamsri 21-15, 21-16 in the pre-quarters. The 16-year-old will take on second seed Li Shifeng of China on Friday in the quarter-finals.
The more surprising result of the day for India came from the men’s doubles pair of Manjit Singh and Dingku Singh, who fought their way into the last eight when they beat the seventh seeds Thanawin Madee and Wachirawit Sothon. In a match that lasted 46 minutes, the Indians triumphed 24-22, 16-21, 21-17.
It was their second match of the day, having beaten the Hong Kong duo of Shing Hei Ko and Pak Nagi Mak 21-14, 21-15 in the round of 32 earlier.
There won’t be any other Indians in action on Friday, as Kiran George, Priyanshu Rajawat, Aakarshi Kashyap, Dipty Kuity, Medha Shashidharan and Kavipriya Selvam all bowed out before the quarter-finals.
Kiran was made to work hard by Korea’s Ji Choi before winning his third-round match 21-16, 21-23, 21-12. However, he was eventually defeated in the pre-quarters by seventh seed Alberto Alvin Yulianto 19-21, 19-21.
Rajawat also went through some anxious moments in the third round before overcoming Japan’s Ryota Ichii 21-18, 13-21, 23-21, before losing to Malaysia’s Tze Yong NG 15-21, 14-21.
In women’s singles, the only seeded Indian Aakarshi Kashyap lost her opening match, after getting a first-round bye, to Thai opponent Benyappa Aimsaard 18-21, 17-21 in a close second-round match. Dipti Kuity followed suit when she lost to Yu Ying Hsieh of Taipei, 20-22, 9-21.
Kavipriya Selvam, who moved into the pre-quarters with a win over Ciou-Tong Tung of Taipei in the morning, was then defeated by fourth seed Yaxin Wei of China 21-19, 21-8.
Men’s singles top seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn kept his winning ways with a 21-16, 21-9 win over Indonesia’s Karono Karono. The Thai will next take on Indonesia’s Christian Adinata, who defeated Malaysia’s Chia Wei Jie 21-14, 21-18.
Thailand also enjoyed success in the women’s singles with last year’s runners-up Phittayaporn Chaiwan booking her place in the quarter-finals with an easy 21-9, 21-15 win in 25 minutes over Hong Kong’s Leung Yuet Yee.
Joining Chaiwan in the last eight is China’s number three seed Zhou Meng knocked out Korea’s Kim Seong Min 21-17, 21-13 while compatriot and fourth seed Wei Yaxin, 21-19, 21-8 winner India’s Kavipriya Selva 21-19, 21-8.
Meanwhile, men’s singles second seed Li Shifeng of China also had an easy passage into the quarter-finals with a 21-10, 21-17 win against Yang Yang of Chinese Taipei.
China’s Bai Yupeng, runner-up last year and the third seed, kept his hopes alive with a come-from-behind win over Thailand’s Setthanan Piyawatcharavijit, prevailing 19-21, 21-14, 21-12 in 55 minutes.
The other Indians in the fray bowed out without a whimper in the face of some excellent battles by their opponents.
With inputs from Badminton Asia