BANGALORE: Mandya is all set to host the junior National badminton championship from November 1 to 9.
The tournament is being conducted for the first time in Karnataka by Mandya District Badminton Association under the auspices of the BAI and KBA at PET courts.
The nine-day schedule begins with qualifying rounds for open events on November 1 and 2, followed by inter-State championship for Narang Cup (boys) and Shafi Quereshi Cup (girls) with holder Andhra Pradesh starting as the favourite.
The open events get underway on November 5 and events include boys’ singles and doubles, girls’ singles and doubles.
The host Karnataka had a champion in the last edition of the tournament at Sivakasi, where Aditya Prakash went on to claim a double crown in the boys’ section, while N. Sikki Reddy of Andhra Pradesh also won a double crown in the girls’ section. She will turn out to defend her title at Mandya but Aditya Prakash, who is now out of the junior ranks, will not be there. But the State has strong contenders in Prakash Jolly and Jacqueline Kunnath, who are ranked No. 5 and No. 8 in the country.
But it’s the Andhra brigade, which is expected to walk away with most of the honours as it has top players such as Sumeet Reddy, Sai Praneeth and Nanda Gopal (boys), Sikki Reddy and P.V. Sindhu (girls). The other challengers include H.S. Prannoy of Kerala (boys), P.C. Thulasi of Kerala, Anuradha Shrikhade and Saili Rane of Maharashtra (girls).
For the first time, the results will be updated instantly on the website, www.tournamentsoftware.com and Doordarshan is expected to telecast live the final and semifinals of the open events on November 8 and 9 respectively. — Special Correspondent