Tauranga (New Zealand) : India finished runners-up in pool C to qualify for the girls’ team event quarterfinal in the WSF-World junior squash championship here today.

India will play the Pool D winner Hong Kong in the quarterfinal. In its last pool league match, India defeated lower ranked France 2-1 to get the second place behind England. The margin could have been 3-0 but Akanksha Salunkhe, playing the French girl Fanny Segers in the inconsequential third match of the tie, had to retire midway with muscular pain in her legs.

As Coach Surbi Misra said Akanksha had begun confidently and went two games up when suddenly she developed pain. “In great pain, she went down in the third game and at that point we decided she will not be able to continue,” Misra said.

Earlier, Misra said Sunayna Kuruvilla had given a good start with a fluent win over Maelle Fuhrer in 17 minutes. Ashita Bhengra was the next to make appearance.

The Chennai player faltered to start with, lost the first game but regained confidence to win the next three against Chloe Mourier to give the winning margin.

The results: India bt France 2-1 (Sunayna Kuruvilla bt Maell Fuhrer 11-5, 11-6, 11-2; Ashita Bhengra bt Chloe Mourier 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8; Akanksha Salunkhe lost to Fanny Segers 11-4, 11-6, 9-11, retd).

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Free Press Journal