Bhubaneswar: Over 500 budding shuttlers from from 33 States and Union Territories started campaign with full of enthusiasm in the Yonex-Sunrise 33rd National Sub-Junior Badminton Championships 2019, which commenced here simultaneously at East Coast Railway Indoor Stadium and Saheed Nagar Indoor Hall today.
Odisha State Badminton Association (OSBA) is hosting the championship for the first time with the support of Sports & Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha. The six-day championship was inaugurated by Odisha Chief Secretary, Asit Tripathy in the presence of Badminton Association of India (BAI) Vice-President O D Sharma, OSBA President Rohit Pujari and Tournament Convenor Rajesh Patil.
Odisha ace Rutaparna Panda, who arrived here from Dhaka after finishing women’s doubles runners-up at the Bangladesh International Challenge, was the star attraction of the inaugural ceremony. A trainee of Gopichand Academy, Ruraparna, was in a jovial mood, sharing her recent experience and encouraging young generation shuttlers to do well in the ongoing championship.
The opening day action started with first-round matches in U15 and U17 mixed doubles events. These were followed by duels in U15 boys and girls singles. Overall, the quality of competition was high with most of the matches proving to be close affairs.
With Bhubaneswar playing host to a National championship for the first time, both the venues attracted sizeable crowds on the opening day. “The arrangements are top class and the teenagers are playing quality badminton,’’ said Harish Mishra, an avid badminton follower.
“The live telecast of the matches inside the stadium is excellent. This helps the crowd known the players and the score,’’ observed Saheli Das, a college student. The championship will pick momentum when top ranking shuttlers start their campaign tomorrow.