Sankar Muthusamy ensures India a precious medal at BWF World Junior Championships
18-year-old Subramaniam Sankar Muthusamy is the 9th Indian ever to win a medal at the Badminton World Junior Championships. Lakshya Sen (2018) had been the last to medal here.
Sankar Muthusamy ensured India a precious medal by getting into the semifinals of the BWF World Junior Championships in Santander, Spain on Friday.
This is India's only medal at the 2022 edition. Unnati Hooda was beaten in the pre-quarterfinals in Women's Singles earlier on Thursday. India finished 13th in the Mixed Team event earlier. Muthusamy, the last Indian standing, will next be in the semifinal against Thailand's Phanitchaphon Teeraratsakul on Saturday.
Before this, the last Indian medallist at this event had been Lakshya Sen in 2018.
Muthusamy, the 18-year-old from Chennai, ranked 110 in the world, beat world number 86 Chinese shuttler Hu Zhe An 21-18, 8-21, 21-16 in a 91-minute marathon on Friday. He had earlier beaten Thailand's Nachakorn Pusri 21-10, 21-12 to reach the quarterfinals.
"It was quite tough. In the second game I was not in a good patch initially, so I slowed it down in the second since he was getting tired. Towards the middle of the third game his tiredness started showing and that was a boost for me," Muthusamy told BWF.
"I'm fine for tomorrow's match. I'm used to training for such long matches as I'm a defensive player, but I've also been trying to attack more," he said.
This is India's 10th medal at the BWF World Junior Championships in history, an event started by the world badminton body in 1992.
The eight previous medallists from India were Saina Nehwal (gold, 2008; silver, 2006), Aparna Popat (silver, 1996), Siril Verma (silver, 2015), Gurusai Dutt (bronze, 2008), Sai Praneeth (bronze, 2010), HS Prannoy (bronze, 2010), Sameer Verma (bronze, 2011) and Lakshya Sen (bronze, 2018).
In his quarterfinal on Friday, the left-handed Muthusamy soared into an early lead before the Chinese regained the upper hand towards the end of the first game. Almost crushed in the second game, the Indian roared back at 4-6 down in the third game to win a series of four consecutive points, forcing his opponent into an injury break which proved to be futile.