Young Gun Anmol Kharb Continues Hot Streak, Reaches Pre-Quarters at Kazakhstan International Challenger

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Following her history-making performance at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in February, 17-year-old badminton prodigy Anmol Kharb has picked up right where she left off.

Kharb, ranked a relatively unknown 333rd in the world, is setting the Kazakhstan International Challenge ablaze, recently securing a dominant pre-quarterfinal berth with a straight-game victory over her higher-ranked compatriot Malvika Bansod (21-13, 22-20).

Kharb’s journey at the Kazakhstan International Challenge is merely an extension of the magic she weaved at the Badminton Asia Team Championships in Malaysia.

Despite her low world ranking, Kharb emerged as a surprise hero for India. Her nerves of steel shone brightest in pressure situations, particularly in the crucial fifth rubber against China. There, she defeated Wu Luo Yu in a grueling three-game match, a victory that sparked India’s historic run to its first-ever title in the tournament. Kharb didn’t stop there.
She continued to impress throughout the Badminton Asia Team Championships, securing vital wins in both the semifinals and finals, proving her undeniable talent and composure on the biggest stage.

This newfound confidence seems to have traveled with Kharb to Kazakhstan. Her straight-game victory over Bansod, a player ranked significantly higher, showcased her ability to handle pressure and execute her strategies effectively.

Kharb wasn’t the only Indian badminton star to shine in Kazakhstan. Anupama Upadhyaya, Tanya Hemanth, and Keyura Mopati all secured convincing wins in the women’s singles category.

Upadhyaya and Hemanth dominated their respective pre-quarterfinal matches, while Mopati displayed her skills in a straight-game victory.
Mixed doubles saw a flurry of Indian success stories as well. The pairs of Dhanraj Srivatsa & Maneesha K, Rohan Kapoor & Ruthvika Shivani, Abhyuday Chauchary & Vaishnavi Khadkekar, and Ayush Raj Gupta & Sruti Swain all booked their spots in the pre-quarterfinals with dominant performances.

Srivatsa and K, Kapoor and Shivani dispatched their opponents in straight games, while Chauchary and Khadkekar, along with Gupta and Swain, displayed similar ruthlessness on court.

These victories across categories highlight the depth and talent pool within Indian badminton. The strong showing from both established players and young guns like Kharb bodes well for the future of the sport in the country.

All eyes will now be on Kharb as she continues her journey at the Kazakhstan International Challenge, hoping to replicate her success from the Badminton Asia Team Championships

Written by Ishant Garg

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