Junior badminton tournament: Akshaya enters quarters

Chennai: Tamilnadu’s Akshaya Arumugam pulled off a clean but unexpected victory to storm into the quarter-finals of the Microplex Global and Yonex Sunrise All-India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament.

The Chennai lass showed her mettle by beating a determined Riya Kunjir of Maharashtra 21-12 21-11. The latter fought in the early stages of the Under-19 girls singles clash, but went down in straight games.

Earlier in the day, Akshaya got the measure of Uthsava Palit of West Bengal, posting a convincing 21-14 21-16 victory in the Round-of-32 encounter. She joined top seed P Gayatri Gopichand of Telangana, who also scored two wins during the day, in the last eight.

Gayatri had an easy run in her first match of the day, taming Prerana Alvekar of Maharasthra 21-11 21-13. But the evening duel proved to be a test as Khushi Gupta of Delhi battled tooth and nail for every point.

In the end, the highly-rated Gayatri prevailed by a scoreline of 22-20 21-16. TN had a good morning session, with No. 4 seed K Sathish Kumar, Siddhanth Gupta and Rithvik Sanjeevi winning their respective matches and making it to the pre-quarterfinals of the Under-19 boys singles.

GIRLS SINGLES: R16: P Gayatri Gopichand (1) (TS) bt Khushi Gupta (Delhi) 22-20, 21-16; Akshaya Arumugam (Tamil Nadu) bt Riya Kunjir (Mah) 21-12, 21-11.

BOYS SINGLES: R32: Siddhanth Gupta (10) (TN) bt Tukum Laa (ANP) 21-16 21-12; S Rithvik Sanjeevi (TN) bt Dhruv Rawat (7) (UTR) 23-21 20-22 21-9; K Sathish Kumar K (4) TN) bt Siddhartha Mishra (UP) 21-11 21-12.

NT Bureau