Pune, 30th August 2022: Big-time badminton returns to the city in the form of the India Junior International Grand Prix 2022, which begins at the P. E. Society’s Modern PDMBA Sports Complex, from Thursday.
For this edition, Prince Dahal (Nepal) and Anupama Upadhyaya (India) have been given the place of pride.
Ranked No. 7 on the Junior World Ranking chart, Prince heads the 64-player Men’s Singles Under-19 main draw and is followed by No. 2 Pranav Rao Gandham of India.
Likewise, World No. 4 Anupama is top-seeded in the Women’s Singles with fellow country mate Samayara Panwar being handed the second seed status.
The tournament, being held after a two year gap, is the only Grand Prix tournament to be played in India with the last being played in 2019.
Over the years the tournament has grown steadily to become the most prestigious juniors’ event in India and Asia.
Back in 1983, the tournament began as the Laxmi Krida Mandir Championship, which earned the distinction of being the first ever age-group event in India. Started by Laxmi Krida Mandir Club (LKMC), the championship began as a district-level tournament and up its status into becoming the most prestigious juniors’ event in India and Asia.
For the record, only 2 out of 4 such events are played in Asia of which this is one. Since 1997 the tournament is held in the memory of Sushant Chipalkatti and subsequently in 2019 (LKMC) handed the tournament to the PDMBA.
This edition will be played in five events; singles and doubles in both men’s and women’s categories apart from the mixed doubles respectively.
A total prize money of $15,000 will be up for grabs.
Interestingly, Indian players have been top seeded in three of the five events with Anupama leading the show. The others to be handed numero uno status are; Palak Arora/ Unnati Hooda in the Women’s Doubles and Ayan Rashid/ Mahek Nayak in the Mixed Doubles
The event is a categorized Badminton World Federation (BWF) event conducted under the aegis of the Badminton Federation of India (BFI) and hosted by the Poona District Metropolitan Badminton Association.
A total of 428 players representing nine countries namely Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Uganda, Sri Lanka and host’s India will be seen in action during the six-day event.
The two-day qualifying draw for the tournament which begins on Tuesday will have 16 qualifiers join the 64-player main draw of both the singles events respectively. Similarly, in all the doubles events, eight qualifiers will join the 32-player main draw.
SEEDINGS (Main Draw)
Men’s Singles: 1-Prince Dahal (Nepal); 2-Pranav Rao Gandham (India); 3-Ayan Rashid; 4-Lakshay Sharma); 5-Patcharakit Apiratchataset (Thailand); 6-Venkata Uneeth Krishna Bhimavarapu (India); 7-Muhammad Halim As Sidiq (Indonesia); 8-Ayush Shetty (India)
Men’s Doubles: 1-Apiluk Gaterahong/ Witchaya Jintamuttha (Thailand); 2-Juan Jeremy Zhen Liang/ M Fazriq Mohamad Razif (Malaysia); 3-Nge Joo Jie/ Johann Prajogo (Singapore); 4-Choi Jian Sheng/ Bryan Jeremy Goonting (Malaysia)
Women’s Singles: 1-Anupama Upadhyaya (India); 2-Samayara Panwar (India); 3-Unnati Hooda (India); 4-Isharani Baruah (India); 6-Siti Nurshuhaini (Malaysia); 7-Tara Shah (India); 8-Rasila Maharjan (Nepal)
Women’s Doubles: 1-Palak Arora (India)/ Unnati Hooda (India); 2-Vaishnavi Khadkekar (India)/ Sri Sai Sravya Lakkamraju (India); 3-Rasila Maharjan (Nepal)/ Ron Pandey (Nepal); 4-Mahek Nayak (India)/ Anamika Singh (India)
Mixed Doubles: 1-Ayan Rashid (India)/ Mahek Nayak (India); 2-Prince Dahal (Nepal)/ Rasila Maharjan (Nepal); 3-Pruthvi Koka (India)/ Muskaan Khan (India); 4-Md Nazmul Islam Joy (Bangladesh)/ Mst Nasima Khatun (Bangladesh).