An extremely resilient and determined fight from India’s Samiya Imad Farooqui won the 14-year old the gold medal at the Asian Badminton Junior Championship in Yangon yesterday. In the U15 Women’s singles competition, the youngster from India was paired up against Indonesia’s Widjaja Stephani.
Third-seeded Farooqui won the game 15-21 21-17 21-19 in a tense and exhausting 56-minute match. What is praiseworthy is that she lost the first game and came back from behind to take the third game to eventually win.
The opening game proved to be very tough for the Indian. Stephani took an early lead and maintained a 6 point difference between the scores. It started with a 6-1 lead and the gap between the scores kept getting wider.
The youngster from Hyderabad properly got into the game in the second game. She gained new vigor and properly emerged as a competitor for the Indonesian. She opened with a 6-2 lead which then went on to become 13-8 in the game she eventually won 21-17.
Nothing, however, was more riveting than the final game where she came back from behind twice to eventually win the coveted Gold medal.
India’s situation in Badminton has seen a massive improvement over the past few years in terms of both structure and accolades. While there have often been allegations of attention being paid only to certain categories, clearly enough work is being done at the grassroots too to warrant such positive results. Most major Indian shuttlers started out as Junior champions. Current star P V Sindhu had also won the gold in the U-19 Asia Junior championship in 2012.
Farooqui had earlier defeated fellow compatriot Aashi Rawat in the semifinals earlier. The match ended 21-9 21-18 in just 23 minutes.