Lucknow: PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma did India proud by entering the semifinals of Badminton Asia Youth Under-19 Championships. Remarkably, both beat Chinese opponents to make the last four.
While Sameer Verma beat Guo Kai 21-19 12-21 21-15, fourth seeded Sindhu got past Zheng Yu 22-20 11-21 21-12. Sameer’s win was particularly significant because Guo Kai had beaten India’s Pratul Joshi in the team championship semifinals. Incidentally, Pratul was among the casualties on Wednesday, falling in the quarterfinals to second seeded Malaysian Zulfaidi Zulfikli in straight games.
Sameer led all through in the first game, and although Guo Kai caught up at 19-all, the Indian held his nerve to take the game. In the second, it was Guo all the way, leading from start to finish. Fortunes fluctuated in the decider, but from 14-all, the Indian took five points in a row to swing the contest decisively.
PV Sindhu had to weather a tense first game against Zheng Yu, which she won 22-20. Although Zheng took the second rather easily, Sindhu sensationally grabbed the decider by shooting to a 8-1 and 17-6 lead.
PV Sindhu however crashed in the women’s doubles, as she and K Maneesha fell in the quarters to a Chinese pair.
Indian Results (Quarterfinals):
MS: Liu Kai (Chn) bt K Srikanth 26-24 21-17; Sameer Verma bt Guo Kai 21-19 12-21 21-15; 2-Zulfaidi Zulfikli (Mas) bt Pratul Joshi 21-15 21-9
WS: PV Sindhu bt Zheng Yu 22-20 11-21 21-12
WD: 2-Ou Dongni/ Rui Xiong (Chn) bt 8-K Maneesha/ PV Sindhu 21-8 21-9
XD: Pei Tianyi/ Ou Dongyi (Chn) bt B Venkatesh/ Ruthvika Shivani 21-11 21-7