Two defeats in a day has made India's Gayatri stronger
India's Gayatri Gopichand Pullela is not losing any sleep over her first round defeats in the on-going Badminton Asia Under 17 & Under-15 Junior Championships in Yangon, Myanmar on Wednesday.
The 14-year-old daughter of former Indian great P. Gopichand - competing in both categories - lost to 22-24, 21-14, 15-21 to Indonesia's Stephani Widjaja in the Under-15 women's singles.
Hours later Gayatri was back court at the Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium - this time for her Under-17 singles match and it was another Indonesia opponent Yasnita Enggira Setiawan who put an end to the Indian's challenge with a 22-20, 18-21, 21-13 win.
"The two defeats are not going to affect me. In fact the defeats have made me stronger. The message is strong that it is a long winding road for my badminton career. There is a lot of hard work that needs to be done," said Gayatri, who next heads to Jogjakarta for the World Junior Championships.
The Asian Under-17 & Under-15 championships is Gayatri's second. Despite her early exit in Yangon, Gayatri is still one of India's hope in Jogjakarta.
It was later revealed that Gayatri carried a right knee injury which also affected her performance in Yangon. That, however, is no excuse for her defeats.
"Yes, I am injured but it is not the excuse for my two defeats. I am more than pleased with my overall performance. It was close in both matches."
India's national juniors head coach Sanjay Mishra is also counting on Mishra to bounce back at the world junior meet.
"She (Gayatri) played well in Yangon. She is also a key player for us in the world junior meet in Indonesia," said Mishra.
Four of the Indian girls competing in the Asian meet will head to the world junior. Apart from Gayatri is World Junior No 9 Aakarshi Kashyap, Malvika Bansod and Ritika Thakker.
Gayatri and Aakarshi will play in the singles while Malvika and Ritika will play in the doubles with different partners.
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