Sankar Muthusamy storms into men’s singles final

With this win, S Sankar became the first Indian badminton player to make the finals of a junior badminton world championships since Siril Verma in 2016.
S Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian
S Sankar Muthusamy SubramanianIANS

SANTANDER (SPAIN): Indian shuttler S Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian stormed into the men's singles final at the World Junior Badminton Championships 2022 with a 21-13, 21-15 win over Thailand's Panitchaphon Teeraratsakul in the semifinal, here on Saturday.

With this win, S Sankar became the first Indian badminton player to make the finals of a junior badminton world championships since Siril Verma in 2016. Overall, he became the fourth Indian to reach the Junior World Championships final after Aparna Popat, Saina Nehwal and Siril Verma.

Notably, former world No. 1 Saina remains India's only junior badminton world champion till date, having clinched the women's singles title in 2008.

Despite Teeraratsakul clearly enjoying the height advantage and an extended reach, Subramanian, India's highest-ranked junior men's singles player at world No. 4, looked to take the game to his opponent and score quick points early.

Under heavy pressure, the 17-year-old Indian worked his angles well and made good use of his clever shuttle placement to comfortably bag the first game.

The Thai shuttler tried to infuse extra pace and power in the second game to try and disturb the Indian shuttler's technical style but Sankar did well to keep pace. His consistent returns frustrated the Thai player as he started making unforced errors and often placed his shots outside the scoring lines.

The ploy eventually paid off as the Indian badminton player settled the 40-minute affair in straight games.

Sankar will face either Chinese Taipei's Kuo Kuan-lin or South Korean shuttler Kim Byung-jae for the junior crown on Sunday.

On Thursday, Subramanian had already confirmed India's 10th medal at the age-group tournament. Heading into the 2022 edition, India had won one gold, three silvers and five bronze medals, all in singles, in the tournament.

Sankar's medal is also India's first at the junior world badminton championships since Lakshya Sen's bronze in 2018.

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