Pullela Gayatri Gopichand, new star on the block

Pullela Gayatri Gopichand, new star on the block

Agency News

Chennai, May 19: More than 1,000 shuttlers from across the country will be vying for honours in the Microplex Global and Yonex  Sunrise All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament beginning here on Tuesday.

All eyes will be on the Under-19 Girls’ Singles’ top seed Pullela Gayatri Gopichand, daughter of India coach Gopichand, who seems all set to lead the country’s next generation of players towards success. The 16-year-old Hyderabadi, who has shown rare consistency and amazing temperament at this level, will, however, be wary of Chattirgarh’s Aakarshi Kashyap.

Both are highly talented and were part of the Asian Games contingent and have also traded wins in the past. The tournament would also be a selection trial for the Junior
Asian Badminton Championship to be held in China two months  later.

Madhya Pradesh’s Priyanshu Rajawat is the top seed in Under-19 Boys’ Singles. Another strong contender is Manipur’s Maisnam  Meiraba. In the Girls’ Singles, Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod and Unnati Bisht will also be key protagonists in this tournament. “We are delighted to host this prestigious tournament,” Mr Arunachalam, secretary of the organisers Tamil Nadu Badminton Association, said.

Thirty-two boys and girls have been given direct entries into the main draw, while eight each in the three doubles categories: Boys, Girls and Mixed. Over 500 boys and 220 girls from different parts of the country will go through the qualifying rounds. (UNI)