Six Panjab University students will be a part of the 12-member team of Indian universities that will leave for Moscow on Friday to take part in the World University Badminton Championships to be held in the city from September 12 to September 18.
Training under national coach Surinder Mahahjan, the Panjab University trainees, which include 2010 junior nationals bronze medal winner Rupinder Singh, would also hope to better their ninth place finish in the last edition of the championships.
“It’s a good opportunity to compete against some of the world’s best players and the camp has meant that we trained hard and tried out various combinations. Last time, we finished ninth in the competition and I lost in the third round. But we are aiming to improve this time. It will be a tough challenge as players from other Asian countries like China, Malaysia and Indonesia will also take part in the event, but adjusting to the conditions will be the key for us. Competing in the individual events will also give us exposure,” said Rupinder, who won bronze in team event in junior nationals in 2013 apart from winning bronze in junior nationals in 2010.
The World University Championships will see the participation of more than 23 teams from across the globe including teams from China, Malaysia and Indonesia and the Indian team will se the presence of 12 players including 2015 All India Inter Inter-University winner team member Kanwaldeep Singh, Sumit Sharma, Kashish, 2014 School nationals gold medallists Kailash and Sanya Sethi from Chandigarh. Rupinder and Kanwaldeep reached their third round in the individual event in the last edition of the games played in Spain.
“We won the All India Inter-University title last year and that performance will be on the back of our mind. The last championship was held in Spain and a total of 23 teams took part. This time there will be more number of teams and the doubles category will see some of world’s top youth players. The fact that six of us from the Indian team train together at Panjab University would also help us a lot,’ shared Kanwaldeep, who was part of the Panjab University team which won the All India Inter-University title last year.
2013 Junior Nationals bronze medal winner Kailash, who also won the gold medal in Chandigah State Championships, will lead the challenge in the women’s category along with Sethi and the 19-year-old player believes that the Moscow trip would provide her with much needed exposure.
“Competing at the international level will also help our game and PV Sindhu’s recent silver medal in Rio Olympics has motivated all of us a lot. Coach Surinder Mahajan has also trained her and we would listen about her training a lot. We would also aim to finish with a top-ten finish in the prestigious event,” said Kailash, a student of SGGS College for women, Sector 26.
Mahajan said: “Competing in a country like Russia is always tough but the weather will be comparatively good at this point of year. We have been working on serves and volley during the camp and the first half draw will be important for us. Early wins in the competition will help us and it will boost our game.”