Whether it was Saina Nehwal or PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap or Kidambi Srikanth – you first heard those names on the bustling competitive courts of the Smt Krishna Khaitan Memorial All India Junior tournament, the country’s finest tournament for rookies. Come Sunday, October 16, Chandigarh will witness the crowning of India’s emerging badminton stars as the cream of the country’s young talent fights it out in the junior prize money ranking badminton tournament organised by the Express shuttle club.
Badminton has emerged as India’s second-most popular sport behind cricket, after the back-to-back Olympic medals won by Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. The Smt Krishna Khaitan Memorial tournament, the much-awaited event on the junior circuit, has been an early harbinger of future champions for a quarter of a century. The tournament conducted without a break for 25 years will complete its silver jubilee this year. After a long and memorable run at Chennai, it moved to Chandigarh in 2012. Top Indian names of Indian badminton, like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikant, have all participated in the Smt Krishna Khaitan Memorial in their formative years, besides thousands of junior players from all over India.
This year has seen record entries with over 1000 junior participating. Sanjiv Sachdeva, former chief Indian junior badminton coach for 12 years until he retired in 2012, has been the moving force behind the tournament which will see young guns Aakrishi Kashyap, Shikha Gautam, M Mithun and M Kanishq battle out for the u-19 honours.
The closing and prize distribution ceremony of the tournament this year will be held on Sunday 16th Oct, 2016 at Chandigarh’s Panjab University Badminton Hall in the presence of the hon’ble Governor of Punjab Shri V P Singh Badnore.