Unnati Hooda advanced to the women's singles round of 16 on Wednesday at the World Junior Badminton Championships 2022 in Santander, Spain. The tournament's fifth seed and the world No. 5 junior badminton player, Unnati Hooda, 14, defeated Gianna Stiglich of Italy with ease, 21-11, 21-7.
Unnati Hooda, who won the women's singles championship at the Odisha Open in January and went on to become the youngest Indian to win a BWF Super 100 title, will next play Japanese player Hina Akechi in the pre-quarterfinals. However, at the junior championships, it was game over for world No. 3 Anupama Upadhyaya. Zhang Xin Ran of China defeated the top seed, 21-15, 21-10.
Zhang will next compete against South Korean shuttler Na Kyung Park, who defeated Indian Rakshita Sree Ramraj. Ramraj's team was defeated 21-13, 21-13. S Sankar Muthusamy Subramanian, the top-ranked male singles player from India at No. 4 in the world, continued the match by easily defeating Basilio Porto of Spain with a score of 21-4, 21-5. An appearance in the quarterfinals is now separated from the Indian shuttler by Thailand's Nachakorn Pusri.
Unfortunately, Samarveer and Radhika Sharma's mixed doubles campaign was cut short as they were defeated by the Japanese team of Seiya Inoue and Kokona Ishikawa 21-18, 21-16. The pair had been dominating since winning the BWF World Junior Mixed Team Championships 2022 earlier this month.
Later on in the day, Shreya Balaji and Srinidhi Narayanan will compete in the women's doubles. Saina Nehwal, a former world number one, is the only Indian to have won the junior world championship title to date. Rising talent Lakshya Sen, who won bronze in 2018, was India's last medalist in the competition. Due to COVID-19, the BWF World Junior Championships were postponed in 2020 and 2021. On October 30, the junior championships come to an end.