After bagging a victory in both the selection tournaments in 2018, a 17-year-old Malvika Bansod is aiming to make the next 30 days count before heading to Markham, Canada, with the Indian team. Malvika is scheduled to head to Panchkula for the 15-day-long national camp for the world juniors.
This is the second straight year that the Nagpur girl has qualified for the world junior championship. She shared a court in doubles with partner Deeksha Choudhari, who had lost in the round of 32 in Indonesia last year but Bansod now hopes to go for singles.
“It feels really great to qualify for the world juniors in the first position,” Malvika told Scroll.in after the squad was announced. “I’d like to better my performance from last year and make the country proud. This will be my first outing in the singles at the world juniors so I’ll just try to give my best.”
The left-handed shuttler played 12 matches in a span of 10 days across the two selection tournaments, ending the tournament at the top positions in both.
“I think I could have beaten her under 15 because I had a lead of like 18-12, but then she also increased the pace of her game and started playing very well,” Malvika said. “The game went up to 26-26 before I managed to convert the last two points.” The second game was also a tight affair, as the 15-year-old Gayatri engaged Malvika in rallies before the latter came through 21-19.
The two met again in the finals, where they stretched into three games. “I could have won in straight games again,” Malvika said.
After winning the first game comfortably 21-11, Malvika was trailing 17-20 in the second game as Gayatri again upped the tempo.
“I managed to make it 20-20, but then one silly error from my side and a winner from her side gave her the game. In the third game, I played really well and won by a comfortable margin. I had an eight-point lead at one point but she again stepped up her game and came up to 15,” she added.
Malvika had a big confidence booster witnessing a remarkable win game in both selection tournaments which took her to world juniors.
“Two back-to-back titles was a record for me itself,” she said. “I’m playing well and am in good form so I’ll try to continue that up to the world juniors. I had a bad day in Tirupur and missed out, so I had focussed on these two tournaments [in Chandigarh and Panchkula] since long. I started training more specifically towards my weak points and modified my training schedule a bit. I’m happy I made it this time,” she added.
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