Bhubaneswar: Around 540 budding shuttlers, including 260 girl from 33 States and Union Territories will by vying for honours in 10 categories of the 33rd Sub-Junior National Badminton Championships 2019 for U-15 and U-17 boys and girls, starting here at East Coast Railway Indoor Stadium and Saheed Nagar Indoor Hall tomorrow.
“Odisha State Badminton Association (OSBA) is hosting the championship for the first time with the support of Sports & Youth Services Department, Government of Odisha and we will leave no stone unturned to made the event memorable,’’ OSBA president Rohit Pujari said in a press conference today.
“Our Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has taken massive initiative to make Odisha the sports capital of India. Inspired by his dream we have accepted the challenge of hosting the Sub-junior Nationals successfully,’’ added Mr Pujari, also the MLA of Rairakhol and Government’s Deputy Chief Whip in the Assembly.
Speaking on the occasion Championship Convenor and IAS Officer Rajesh Prahaakar Patil said the Sub-junior Badminton National will be another feather in the cap of the State Government, which has already proved its ability by successfully hosting a number major international events, including FIH Men’s World Cup.
According to Badminton Association of India (BAI) Secretary (Events) Omar Rashid, all the leading U-15 and U-15 players of the country will be seen in action at the six-day championships. Competition, featuring singles, doubles and mixed doubles in both age groups for boys and girls will be held at four newly-equipped synthetic courts each at Railway Indoor Stadium and Saheed Nagar Indoor Hall.
“The championship will be a big platform for budding shuttlers to gain exposure and showcase their talent. Among top ranking players, Tasmin Mir and Tara Shah emerged U-15 girls’ singles champion and runner-up respectively at the Badminton Asia Junior Championship in Surabaya, Indonesia yesterday,’’ added Mr Rashid.
The championship offers a total cash prize of Rs 10 lakh. Players reaching quarterfinals will be eligible for prize money. Title winners in U-17 singles will receive Rs 44,000 each, while doubles and mixed doubles champions will be given Rs 46,000 each. In U-15 age group, singles title winners will get Rs 42,000 each and doubles and mixed doubles champions Rs 44,000.
Hosts Odisha, which is set to field a 22-member strong squad, is optimistic of winning its first medal in this championship. The home state pins hopes mainly on its India No 1 Ayush Pattnayak (U-17 boys) and Swetaparna Panda (U-15 girls). Both have been given direct entry to the main draw in respective doubles and mixed double events.