Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi, 22 July : Despite Maisnam Meiraba heroics India bowed out to Indonesia 0-3 in the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships 2019 (Mixed Team event) in Suzhou, China on Monday.
In an absorbing battle between two top 20 junior players, World No. 14 Meiraba managed to take a game off his 17th ranked opponent, Bobby Setiabudi but the Indonesian proved too strong in the end with a 21-17, 15-21, 21-11 win in 59 minutes.
The Manipur boy, who won his first international tournament at the White Night Russian Junior International earlier this month had been in fine form throughout the event and won his matches against Korea and Macau.
Meiraba’s performance, even though in a losing cause, stood out as none of the other results went in India’s favour.
In girls’ singles, Malvika Bansod was unlucky to miss out on winning a tight first game and eventually went down fighting 20-22, 7-21 to junior World No. 4 Putri Kusuma Wardani.
Tanisha Crasto and Sathish Kumar Karunakaran suffered a 15-21, 18-21 defeat to Leo Rolly Carnando and Indah Cahya Sari Jamil in mixed doubles.
India had beaten Mongolia and Macau China by an identical score of 5-0 while they lost to Korea 1-4 in the round-robin. Finishing second to Korea in the group stage had confirmed their quarter-final berth.
The Indian team’s journey might have ended here but the fighting spirit and stamina showed by them over the three days has been encouraging.
The three-game losses against a strong team like Korea indicate that they are in the right direction.
The Indian youngsters will now focus on the individual competition that starts on July 24. Maisnam Meiraba will try to defend the boys’ singles gold that Lakshya Sen had won last year.