Santander (Spain), Oct 26 (IANS) Indian shuttler Unnati Hooda advanced to the women’s singles Round of 16 at the World Junior Badminton Championships 2022, here on Wednesday.
The 14-year-old Unnati, ranked world No. 5 in the junior badminton rankings and the fifth seed in the tournament beat Italy’s Gianna Stiglich 21-11, 21-7.
Hooda, who became the youngest Indian to win a BWF Super 100 title after claiming the Odisha Open women’s singles title in January, will next face Hina Akechi of Japan in the pre-quarterfinals.
However, it was the end of the road for world No. 3 Anupama Upadhyay at the junior championships. The top seed lost to China’s Zhang Xin Ran 15-21, 10-21.
Zhang will next face South Korean shuttler Na Kyung Park, who ousted Rakshita Sree Ramraj, another Indian 21-13, 21-13.
Meanwhile, S Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian, the highest-ranked Indian men’s singles player at world No. 4, kept himself alive in the competition after cruising past Spain’s Basilio Porto by a resounding 21-4, 21-5 win.
Thailand’s Nachakorn Pusri now stands between S Sankar and a quarter-final appearance.
However, Samarveer and Radhika Sharma’s campaign in mixed doubles, came to an end as the duo, who have been impressive since the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2022 earlier this month lost to Japanese pair Seiya Inoue and Kokona Ishikawa 18-21, 16-21 after a spirited fight.
Notably, former world No 1 Saina Nehwal is the only Indian to win the junior world championship crown to date while rising star Lakshya Sen was India’s last medallist at the event with a bronze in 2018.
The BWF World Junior Championships were not held in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. The ongoing edition of junior championships will conclude on October 30.