Badminton: Aakarshi Kashyap beats Malvika Bansod to win India Junior International title

Kashyap won the women’s singles final 21-13, 21-19 in 37 minutes.

Junior national champion Aakarshi Kashyap re-affirmed her position as one of the most promising upcoming shuttlers in the country as she won the India Junior International title in Pune on Sunday.

Kashyap, 16, won an all-Indian women’s singles final, beating Malvika Bansod 21-13, 21-19 in 37 minutes. While the summit clash was a straightforward affair for Kashyap, the road to the final wasn’t as smooth.

Her first-round match against Indonesia’s Putri Kusuma Wardani went the distance, lasting an hour and five minutes, before the Indian won 21-19, 13-21, 21-16. Her second-round match was a lot easier as she beat Thailand’s Pornpicha Choeikeewong 21-14, 21-5, after which she defeated compatriot Unnati Bisht 23-21, 21-14 in the quarter-finals.

The semi-finals on Saturday gave Kashyap her first real test, as she came up against fifth seed Qi Xuan Eoon. Kashyap was stretched by the Malaysian for 55 minutes before she won 21-16, 12-21, 21-17.

The Pune title would have given Kashyap a lot of confidence after her disappointing performance at the Badminton Asia Junior Championships last month, where she exited in the second round. Kashyap will now join the Indian camp for the Asian Games, where she will play in the team championships.

Apart from the women’s title clash, all other finals of the India Junior International were contested by Indonesian players. Top seed Ikhsan Leonardo Rumbay won the men’s singles title, beating Christian Adinata 21-13, 21-14. Metya Inayah Cindiani and Febby Valencia Dwijayanti Gani won the women’s doubles title, while Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin bagged the men’s doubles trophy. Pramudya Kusumawardana Riyanto and Ribka Sugiarto won the mixed doubles title.

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