New Delhi, Feb 20: The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Wednesday announced 20-member junior India squad for the six-day Dutch Junior International, starting on February 27, and the four-day German Junior 2019 starting on March 7.
Manipur’s Maisnam Meiraba Luwang will be leading the boys’ singles challenge by virtue of the 1192 points that he amassed following his title wins at the All-India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournaments in Vijayawada and Bengaluru.
The girls’ team will be spearheaded by the 2017 U-15 Asian Junior Championships gold medallist Samiya Imad Farooqui who logged in 1125 points in the ranking tournaments.
The BAI considered the cumulative ranking points from the three All India Junior Ranking tournaments held in Vijayawada, Bengaluru and Jaipur in January.
While Meiraba topped the chart in the boys’ singles section, the others joining him are Andhra Pradesh’s Sai Charan Koya, Priyanshu Rajawat of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh and Sathish Kumar from Coimbatore.
In girls’ singles, Farooqui is joined by Gayatri Gopichand, Nashik girl Smit Toshniwal and Amolika Singh from Uttar Pradesh.
The winner of each leg gets 500 points and the runner-up 425 points. The rest of the points bifurcation are semi-finals (350), quarter-finals (275) and pre quarter-finals (192).
Ishaan Bhatnagar and Edwin Joy will be leading India’s challenge in the boys’ doubles section. Treesa Jolly and Varshini VS will be the ones to watch in girls’ doubles, while the in-form Navaneeth Bokka and Sahithi Bandi, who swept the three ranking events, will be India’s top team in mixed doubles.
The prestigious Dutch Junior International and the German Junior 2019, both part of the Junior International Grand Prix category, will kick start the major events on the junior badminton calendar.
Last year, India won the boys’ doubles silver medal at the Dutch Junior when the talented duo of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila finished runners-up.