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Pranav Rao Gandham, Tasnim Mir cause upsets


Press Trust of India Pune
Continuing his stupendous form, India's rising shuttler Pranav Rao Gandham won a couple of rounds in qualifying to secure his place in the main draw of Yonex Sunrise India Junior International Grand Prix here on Thursday.
Gandham made a strong start to the qualifiers to upset the fourth seed Tukum Laa 21-11, 21-13. He next fought hard to edge Anirudh Janardhanan 21-6, 12-21, 21-17 on his way to the main draw where he will meet Thailand's Puritat Arree.
The Telegana player had come to this tournament with a rich vein of form following his twin title wins at the ranking tournaments in Guwahati and Imphal.
A few days after losing a nail-biting final, Gujarat's Tasnim Mir reversed the result when she sent last week's Bangalore All India Junior Ranking Tournament winner and fourth seed Trisha Hegde packing with a gritty 19-21, 21-11, 21-7 win.
In the final round, she made short work of Akshaya Arumugam 21-13, 21-15 to set up a showdown with former U-15 Asian Championships gold medallist Samiya Imad Farooqui.
While six Indians made it to the main draw in boys' singles out of a possible eight, all the eight qualifiers in the girls' singles section were Indians. Likhita Srivastava was another local girl who impressed with a fine 21-18, 21-11 upset victory over fifth seed Khor Jing Wen.
Assam's Ayan Rashid blew away the fifth seed Akash Thakur 21-11, 21-9 to start his campaign but fell to Malaysia's Ken Yon Ong 21-11, 21-12 in the final round.
Promising talent Ayush Raj Gupta showed his resilience and fighting spirit in his 24-22, 14-21, 21-11 win over the sixth seed Shivam Kumar Mishra to qualify.
The four-day tournament, which is also the only Grand Prix event to be played in India, will see India's Junior World No. 9 Varun Kapur and Thailand's Junior World No. 6 Benyapa Aimsaard heading the draws in the boys' singles and girls' singles sections respectively.
With a handsome prize money of USD 15000 and Yonex Sunrise as the title sponsor, it will feature 249 participants from eight countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Uganda, Bangladesh, Nepal and an encouraging number of Indians.

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First Published: Aug 29 2019 | 8:10 PM IST

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