India were dealt a blow on the opening day of the individual event of the badminton world junior championships as Malvika Bansod lost her first-round match in straight games.
Bansod, 17, played a tight match against Hong Kong’s Saloni Mehta but ended up on the losing side of a 22-20, 26-24 scoreline. The Indian saved a match point in the second game but that was only after squandering four game points that would have forced a decider. She could not save another match point as Mehta wrapped up the match in two games.
Bansod’s first-round defeat was a disappointing start for India considering she had blitzed her way into the squad by winning both selection tournaments for the Worlds.
She was, however, the only Indian singles shuttler to lose on Monday. Gayatri Gopichand, Priyanshu Rajawat, Kiran George and Alap Mishra all won their openers in straight games.
It wasn’t, however, such a good day for India’s doubles pairs as only one out of four could make it to the next round. Saipratheek Krishnaprasad and Ashwini Bhat were the only victors as they defeated Mexico’s Gerardo Saavedra and Fatima Rio 21-16, 21-4 in mixed doubles.
Navaneeth Bokka/Sahithi Bandi, Akshan Shetty/Rashi Lambe and Srikrishna Sai Kumar Podile/Srishti Jupudi all lost their opening encounters.
India’s seeded shuttlers – Lakshya Sen, Purva Barve and Dhruv Kapila/Krishna Prasad Garaga – will be in action on Tuesday after receiving a bye in the first round.