Rahul: 'We have a good chance at World juniors'

The runner-up finish at Pune has given Rahul Bhardwaj much-needed confidence ahead of the BWF World junior badminton championships to be held at Yogyakarta (Indonesia) in October.

Representative image.   -  RANJEET KUMAR

A silver medal at the recent India Junior International Grand Prix at Pune came as an important milestone in Rahul Bhardwaj’s comeback trail.  A knee injury, sustained in 2015, had kept him out of action for several months. The runner-up finish at Pune has given Bhardwaj much-needed confidence ahead of the BWF World junior badminton championships to be held at Yogyakarta (Indonesia) in October.

“That was a good tournament for me. My world junior ranking has now improved to 120. It was in the 1000’s before the tournament began,” Bhardwaj, who entered the event as a qualifier, said. The 17-year-old is ready to put his injury woes behind him with a good show at the Worlds.

“The Indian players are very good. We have a very good chance to win a medal,” he said.

The shuttler takes motivation from world No. 2 and fellow Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy trainee Lakshya Sen.  “We were playing at the same level for some time, then Lakshya excelled. He’s playing very well. It’s a motivation not just for me, but for everyone to get to his level,” Bhardwaj said.

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