India’s best show at the Badminton Asia Junior Under-19 Championships was in 2012 when PV Sindhu emerged on top in the women’s singles. At the same tournament at Gimcheon, South Korea Sameer Verma bagged a bronze medal in the men’s singles.
In the 2011 edition that was held in Lucknow, Sindhu won a bronze in the women’s singles whereas Verma bagged a silver medal in the men’s event. In the mixed team championship too, India walked away with a bronze medal.
However, since then the results have been far from satisfactory. But as the team gets ready for this year’s tournament scheduled to be held from July 9 to 17 at Bangkok, Thailand there is a renewed sense of optimism.
“Certainly, there are chances of Indians finishing on the podium this time as we have many talented shuttlers in the squad,” coach Sudhir Singh told HT.
There would be five shuttlers in the mixed team event whereas in the individual event India have fielded four each in men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s singles and three each in women’s doubles and mixed doubles. Besides Sudhir Singh, Vijaydeep Singh and Ravikant Singla are the other two Indian coaches whereas Indonesian Hendra Mulyono is the only foreign coach for the side. Yogesh Shetty is team’s physiotherapist.
Last year in Thailand, Indians had lost to Japan 1-3 in the mixed team event at the quarterfinals. However, in 2014 at Chinese Taipei edition there were some notable performances in the individual events.
Aditya Joshi, Arshalan Naqvi, Kartika Reshma, Rituparna Das, Revati, Ruthvika Shivani, Chirag Sen, Kuhoo Garg in singles and Farha and Shrutti KP in doubles had second round exits but the duo of MR Arjun Vhirag Sen put a great show in the boys doubles before losing to Tedi Supriadi and Edy Yantani Saputra 20-22, 21-12 and 19-21.
Meanwhile, the 19-day camp of the team in Lucknow is yet to start officially for different reasons. Few of the the shuttlers reported late for the camp. Also, tests and medical checkups are being performed on the players verify their age. One that is done the camp will be officially opened.
“Players, who fall with the age range, are only permitted to attend the camp. Since the BAI has selected all the probables for the camp, it will be fully responsible if there is any discrepancy in the age of the campers,” reads the MSYS guideline.
“We are hoping to start the real training of campers from Saturday as age verification tests will continue on Friday also,” a team official said.
Men: Chirag Sen, Lakshya Sen, M Mithun, M Kanishq, G Krishna Prasad, Dhruv Kapila and Brijesh Yadav; Women: Shikha Gautam, G Varushali, Shriyanshi Pardeshi, Riya Mookerjee, Mahima Aggarwal, Ashwini Bhat K, Mithula UK, Sonika Sai P and Anura Prabhu Desai.