Badminton: India qualify for quarters of World Jr mixed team meet

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Yogyakarta (Indonesia), Oct 11 (IANS) India edged past Sweden 3-2 in their final group fixtures to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Junior Mixed Team Championships here on Wednesday.

Before the game against Sweden, India had run past the United States, Hungary and Australia without dropping a single match of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) meet.

Seeded fifth in the tournament, India started off in a dominant fashion as the mixed doubles team of Dhruv Kapila and Mithula beat Carl HarrBacka and Tilda Sjoo 21-16, 16-21, 21-15 in 40 minutes.

World No.2 Laqshya Sen lived up to his reputation as he outplayed 21-11, 21-9 in the men’s single encounter in just 26 minutes to give India a 2-0 lead in the tie.

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Ashmita Chaliha then beat Ashwati Pillai 21-8, 21-14 in the women’s singles competition to help India take an unassailable 3-0 lead.

With three wins in three matches, it looked like India was on course for another sweep but Krishna Prasad-Dhruv Kapila and Rutaparna Panda-Mithula lost their respective men’s doubles and women’s doubles match.

“I am extremely pleased with the performance of the squad. The players have been at the top of their form and I am quite sure that if we maintain our current form, we will go deep into the tournament,” coach Sanjay Mishra said after the match.

“The players have been asked to stay grounded and not get very excited. We are making sure that the players do not get distracted by anything and are fully focused for the game tomorrow,” he added.

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India will now face the third seeded Malaysia in the quarter-finals on Thursday.



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