Mumbai - In a dazzling showcase of badminton talent, over 1200 gifted young players from every corner of Maharashtra took center stage at the 7th edition of the PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship in 2023. This eagerly anticipated sporting spectacle culminated today in a thrilling finale at the prestigious Andheri Sports Complex where 9 budding badminton champions emerged victorious in their respective categories.
In the youth badminton tournament, there were impressive performances across various age categories. In the Boys Singles Under 9 category, Shreeansh Naidu dominated the competition, defeating Jeet Muthiyan with a strong score of 15-13, 10-15 & 15-12. Similarly, in the Girls Singles Under 9 category, Priya Amburle exhibited her remarkable prowess, defeating Kairavi Kulkarni with an impressive score of 16-14, 13-15 & 15-7.
In the Boys Singles Under 11 category, the formidable Shlok Goyal outperformed Jatin Saraf, securing a resounding victory with a score of 15-8 & 15-9. Meanwhile, in the Girl's Singles Under 11 category, Samikshaa Misra exhibited her remarkable prowess, defeating Hazel Joshi with an impressive score of 11-15, 15-13 & 15-12.
In the Boys Singles Under 13 category, Vishvajit Thavil showcased his remarkable skills on the badminton court, outperforming his opponent Mayuresh Bhutki in a thrilling match. Vishvajit secured a resounding victory with a scoreline of 15-8 & 15-13, demonstrating his versatility and determination. Meanwhile, in the Girls Singles Under 13 category, Naisha Verma displayed her prowess by defeating Pranjal Dedhia with an impressive straight-set victory, with scores of 15-11 & 15-13, establishing herself as a formidable competitor in her age group.
In the Boys Singles Under 15 category, Devansh Sakpal exceled against Yash Dhembare. Devansh overcame a challenging opponent, securing victory with scores of 15-8, 11-15 & 15-10, solidifying his reputation as a dominant force in the tournament. Meanwhile, in the Girls Singles Under 15 category, Mansita Mohapatra demonstrated her exceptional skills, defeating Pranjal Shinde convincingly with a scoreline of 15-7 & 15-5, making a strong statement in her age group.
In the Boys Singles Under 17 category, Malhar Ghadi secured a strong victory against Yash Dhembare with scores of 11-15, 15-5 & 15-7. In the Girls Singles Under 17 division, Mansita Mohapatra exhibited her prowess, defeating Mrunal Potdar with the score of 11-15, 15-3 & 15-10.
Adding to the event's grandeur, Mr. Mohd Maqsud Ali, General Manager, Punjab National Bank, Mr. Shishir Agarwal, Chief Human Resource Officer, PNB MetLife, Mr. Nilesh Kothari, Chief Finance Officer, PNB MetLife, Mr. Santhanam Srinivasaraghavan, Valued Partner, Agency Channel-PNB MetLife, Mr. Suresh Kundhadia, Valued Partner, Agency Channel, PNB MetLife & Mr. Avinash Dharmadikari, President, Badminton Association for Mumbai Upanagar graced the closing ceremony. They presented the young champions with the coveted JBC Trophy, symbolizing their exceptional achievements.
Mr. Sameer Bansal, Chief Distribution Officer at PNB MetLife, shared his enthusiasm for the tournament, stating, "Over the last three days, we've witnessed an incredible display of enthusiasm, determination, and unwavering dedication from these talented young athletes. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the winners and wish them the very best for the finals. At PNB MetLife, our primary objective is to leverage sports as a means to help children build confidence and foster holistic development of their mental and physical capabilities. We believe that this competition plays a pivotal role in nurturing emerging talent, preparing them for the challenges that lie ahead."
PNB MetLife's Junior Badminton Championship holds a global distinction as the world's largest junior badminton tournament, a distinction recognized by the esteemed World Record Certification Agency (WRCA). This recognition solidifies the championship's status as a trailblazer in the promotion of junior badminton excellence across Bharat.
The event also enjoys the unwavering support of esteemed figures in Indian badminton, including icons such as Satwik Rankireddy, Chetan Shetty, PV Sindhu, Prakash Padukone, Ashwini Ponnappa, Vimal Kumar, and Chetan Anand. They lend their expertise to the JBC Boot Camp, an innovative online badminton academy that offers invaluable insights and techniques, enabling young players to hone their skills and unlock their full potential.
The next phase of this year's championship promises more thrilling action and is set to take place in Bangalore starting from 5 October 2023. We cordially invite you to join us at Karnataka Badminton Association because, as history has shown, the next badminton sensation of India could very well emerge from the ranks of these incredibly talented young players.