India's Sankar Muthusamy had to settle for a silver medal after going down to Chinese Taipei's Kuo Kuan Lin in straight games in the men's singles final of the BWF World Junior Championships 2022 on Sunday.
The 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu lost 14-21 20-22 to Kuan Lin in a match that lasted 48 minutes. Knowing full well that Sankar could play matches for a long time, Kuo clearly had an aggressive strategy to win the final. But the Indian fought it well in the opening round. He leveled the score at 13-13 even after going down 6-10. However, Kuo kept too much pressure on him and used his deceptive strokes to score eight of the next nine points.
After winning the first round, it looked like the Taipei shuttler would take a 20-14 lead in the second game. But Sankar came back and the champion made several mistakes to raise the hopes of the Indian player. But Kuo showed himself very strong after the score was 20-20. And with his big smash, he got the next two points and the title as well.
Earlier, Sankar Muthusamy became only the second men's singles player from India to reach the final of the BWF World Junior Championships 2022. He defeated Thailand's Panitchaphon Teeraratsakul in straight games in the semifinals. The former junior world No. 1 won the match 21-13, 21-15 with complete control in a full 40-minute fight.
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However, former world junior number one Sankar has become the fourth Indian to win a silver medal in this tournament. Prior to him, Aparna Popat (1996), Saina Nehwal (2006), and Siril Verma (2015) had won silver medals in this championship. This was also India's first medal at the age-group meet after Lakshya Sen's bronze in 2018.