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Badminton

Anmol Kharb beats Malvika Bansod in straight games at Kazakhstan International Challenge

Anmol, ranked 333rd, defeated world no. 54 Malvika Bansod in straight games in a gruelling 59-minute contest to reach the pre-quarterfinals.

Anmol Kharb beats Malvika Bansod in straight games at Kazakhstan International Challenge
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FILE PHOTO: Anmol Kharb won two deciding clashes at the Badminton Asia Team Championships to keep India's unbeaten record intact in Malaysia.

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 April 2024 8:38 AM GMT

Anmol Kharb, the 17-year-old badminton prodigy, is back in action at the Kazakhstan International Challenge after enthralling fans in February by steering India to their maiden Badminton Asia Team Championships title.

Anmol, ranked 333rd in the world, handed out fellow Indian shuttler and world no. 54 Malvika Bansod a straight-game (21-13, 22-20) defeat in a gruelling 59-minute contest.

Although Anmol cruised to claim the opening game quite easily against seasoned Malvika, the second game saw the Nagpur girl fighting back before succumbing to the Haryana girl's fighting spirit, brilliant net play and court coverage.

Anmol, who trains at Noida's Sunrise Academy under Kusum Singh, reached the main draw of the event after winning her two qualifying round matches against local girl Kamila Smagulova and Cassey Rynn Rompog of Malaysia.

In the pre-quarterfinal, Anmol will face Nurani Ratu Azzahra of the UAE.

In February, Anmol took the badminton world by surprise making her international debut at the Asia Team Championships in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

Her ability to hold her nerves in crunching situations impressed one and all. Playing against China in the decisive fifth rubber, Anmol took India home with a 3-2 win; she defeated unheralded Wu Luo Yu in a gruelling three-gamer.

Her win against China in the group tie was not a fluke, she proved it again, in the semifinal and final. Playing against world no. 29 Natsuki Nidaira of Japan, with the semifinal tie at level 2-2, Anmol cruised like an experienced player and made the Indian crowd at Shah Alam, Malaysia, thrilled. Anmol won the match 21-14, 21-18.

In the final, with Thailand cancelling India's 2-0 lead with Busanan Ongbamrungphan toying with Ashmita Chaliha, and Aimsaard sisters - Benyapa and Nuntakarn - defeating Shruti Mishra and Priya Konjengbam, India needed Anmol's service again to lift the gong.

The youngster showed little sign of nerves going up in the decisive rubber as she registered a cosy 21-14, 21-9 win over Pornpicha Choeikeewong. India won the final 3-2 against Thailand.

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