Asian Junior Champion Lakshya Sen along with the mixed doubles pair of Shlok Ramchandran and Shriyanshi Pardeshi put up a brilliant show to guide the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to a narrow 3-2 victory over the Railways in a thrilling final of the Yonex-Sunrise 74th Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton Championships at Guwahati on Monday. This is the seventh time that the AAI has conquered the tournament.
The 17-year-old Sen battled for 55 minutes before he could subdue Subhankar Dey 21-17, 21-17 in the men’s singles clash to start off AAI’s challenge with a bang. In a face-off between two rising women’s singles stars of the country, Aakarshi Kashyap notched up a sublime 21-12, 21-14 win over the Railways’ Anura Prabhudesai to send the AAI 2-0 up.
Just when it looked like the AAI was cruising away to victory, the Railways put up an incredible fightback. The men’s doubles pair of Kabir Kanzarkar and Hemanagendra Babu held their nerves to eke out a tight 21-18, 17-21, 21-18 win over Shlok Ramchandran and Chirag Sen.
In women’s doubles, Riya Mookerjee and Anura Prabhudesai rose to the occasion with a commanding 21-8, 21-8 triumph over Pardeshi and Sneha Santhilal.
Pardeshi soon managed to brush aside that setback and joined forces with Ramchandran to get a 21-9, 17-21, 21-8 win over Kanika Kanwal and Akshay Raut and fetch the vital deciding point for the AAI.
The winners were awarded prize money of INR 3.5 lakhs and the runners-up INR 2.5 lakhs. The third and the fourth-placed teams get INR 2 lakh each for their performance at the Inter-Zonals.
Seeds announced for the Senior Nationals
With the Inter-Zonal competition having reached its conclusion, the Yonex Sunrise 83rd Senior Nationals will get underway on February 12, the opening ceremony of which was held on Monday and was attended by the top shuttlers representing every state.
The Yonex-Sunrise 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships 2018-19 will witness the country’s biggest domestic badminton event making its return to the North-East after a gap of nine years. The top eight singles players will be placed directly in the pre-quarter-finals while the top four teams in the doubles will similarly start their campaign from the quarter-finals.
The BWF World Rankings as on January 18 is the major criterion for the seedings. All the top 50 shuttlers have got direct entries and BAI Rankings have been considered for players who have filled up the empty slots.
PSPB will be led by the top three seeds in men’s singles — 2015 champion Sameer Verma, 2014 winner Sai Praneeth and 2012 winner Parupalli Kashyap. Subhankar Dey of the Railways is the fourth seed, UP’s Ansal Yadav is the fifth seed, AAI’s Chirag Sen is the sixth seed. Uttarakhand’s Bodhit Joshi and Haryana’s Kartik Jindal round off the men’s singles seedings.
Andhra Pradesh’s PV Sindhu, champion in 2011 and 2013 as well as the runner-up in the last edition, is the top seed in women’s singles. Defending champion Saina Nehwal will be the only seed representing PSPB as she eyes a fourth Nationals title.
AAI’s Shriyanshi Pardeshi is the third seed, followed by Ashmita Chaliha of Assam, Kanika Kanwal and Anura Prabhudesai, both of the Railways. Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka belonging to Andhra is the seventh seed while AAI’s Aakarshi Kashyap is the eighth.
Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran have received the top billing in men’s doubles and are followed by the pairs of Anjan Buragohain-Ranjan Buragohain, Krishna Prasad Garaga-Dhruv Kapila and Prakash Raj-Vaibhaav.
Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram are the women’s doubles top seeds while Ashna Roy and Karishma Wadkar are the second seeds. The pairs of Aparna Balan-Sruthi KP and Agna Anto-Sneha Santhilal are the third and the fourth seeds respectively.
The mixed doubles draw is headed by the World No. 46 combine of Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg. Saurabh Sharma-Anoushka Parikh, Dhruv Kapila-Meghana Jakkampudi and Vighnesh Devlekar-Harika V are the next three seeds.
Airport Authority of India (AAI) bt Railways-3:2
MS: Lakshya Sen (AAI) def Subhankar Dey (Railways) 21-17, 21-17
WS: Aakarshi Kashyap (AAI) def Anura Prabhudesai (Railways) 21-12, 21-14
MD: Kabir Kanzarkar/Hemanagendra Babu (Railways) def Shlok Ramchandran/Chirag Sen (AAI) 21-18, 17-21, 21-18
WD: Riya Mookerjee/Anura Prabhudesai (Railways) def Shriyanshi Pardeshi/Sneha Santhilal (AAI) 21-8, 21-8
XD: Shriyanshi Pardeshi/Shlok Ramchandran (AAI) def Kanika Kanwal/Akshay Raut (Railways) 21-9, 17-21, 21-8