When Shankar Muthusamy, a junior badminton player from India, entered the BWF World Junior Championships final, he made history as only the second player from his nation to do so.
He defeated Indonesian Panitchaphon Teeraratsakul in the semifinal match, which lasted around 40 minutes. The Indian won in straight sets, 21-13, 21-15.
With the accomplishment, he follows in the footsteps of Saina Nehwal, one of the country’s most renowned shuttlers, who made it to the gold medal match in the competition in 2008. The event’s yellow metal was ultimately won by Nehwal.
Additionally, with Lakshya Sen’s bronze medal performance in the 2018 competition, he becomes the tenth Indian to earn a medal in the Junior World Championships.
With the Indian maintaining a three-point lead at the half, the first game was tightly matched. After the break, though, Shankar returned reenergized and destroyed the Indonesian with his strong jump smashes to end the set in 16 minutes and take the lead.
However, Teeraratsakul forced the Indian southpaw to work harder throughout the second set, which lasted 24 minutes. Before the shuttle plummeted and reached the ground, there was a moment in the match that was fiercely disputed and totalled 57 strokes.
The Indian team was in the lead going into the half in the second game as well. When he fell hard while attempting to score a point, the score was 18–12. However, he recovered well and pulled six points ahead.
Sankar defeated Hu Zhen An of China 21-18, 8-21, 21-16 in the quarterfinals to go to the semifinals and guarantee a medal. Teeraratsakul will face Sankar in that matchup.
Including Saina’s gold medal, India has won nine medals in previous editions of the illustrious competition, which is being hosted in Spain. India has also won three silver and five bronze medals.