Meiraba Luwang and Tanisha Crasto guided India to a 4-1 victory over USA in its opening Group E encounter at the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships here on Monday.
Crasto, who belongs to Goa, was the star performer for India. She won her girls’ doubles as well as mixed doubles matches. Playing alongside Chhattisgarh’s Ishaan Bhatnagar, Crasto delivered the first point to India by beating Jacob Zhang and Jessica Wang of the USA 22-20, 21-9.
Luwang was the next to take the court. The Junior World No. 10 stamped his authority in the contest against the 520th-ranked Alexander Zheng, defeating him 21-9, 21-11 in 26 minutes. Luwang has been in scintillating form this year — he triumphed at the Russian Junior White Nights and finished runner-up at the India Junior International.
Gujarat’s Tasnim Mir registered a 21-19, 25-23 win over Junior World No. 75 Natalie Chi to give India a 3-0 lead. Mir had clinched the Dubai Junior International Series earlier this month.
India, however, lost the fourth rubber. The boys’ doubles pair of Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Iman Sonowal lost 23-25, 19-21 to William Yu and Joshua Yuan.
The in-form pair of Aditi Bhatt and Crasto then played the last match of the tie against Katelin Ngo and Esther Shi. The Indians, who secured back-to-back wins in the two selection tournaments, were made to work hard by the American pair before they pulled off a 21-16, 15-21, 21-7 win in 46 minutes.
Besides India and USA, other teams in Group E are Australia, Armenia and Japan. India lost to South Korea in the quarterfinals in the last edition of the tournament, in 2018.
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