Ashwini through to final

Badminton: Sub-junior ranking meet:

Shikha knocks out Santoshi in U-15 semifinal

Karnataka shuttlers Ashwini Bhat K and Shikha Gautam had to sweat it out before ensuring their berth in the final of the 11th Union Bank of India National ranking Sub-junior badminton tournament here on Saturday.

Ashwini, the top seed in the girls’ under-13 section, overcame Maharashtra’s Pooja Devlekar, seeded ninth, 22-20, 21-14 in the semifinals at the KBA courts. Later, second seed Shikha, who won five titles at last month’s State championships, edged out eighth seed R Santoshi Hasini of Andhra Pradesh 21-13, 21-19 in the girls’ under-15 semifinal.

In Sunday’s final, Ashwini will take on second seed Deepthi Ramesh of Maharashtra, a 23-21, 21-10 winner over 12th seed UK Mithula of Karnataka. Shikha will face top seed G Vrushali of Andhra Pradesh, who outplayed sixth seed Kanika Kanwal of Delhi 21-10, 21-11, in the summit clash.

Ashwini’s cautious approach in the first game had her on the backfoot. But the State under-13 champion showed more aggression after the break to draw level at 16-all with a superb return off a smash from her rival. Pooja then raised her game at the crucial moment, a smash followed by a pin-point drop helping her to set up two game points.

Ashwini saved one with a powerful smash before her opponent conceded two points due to misjudgment at the baseline. Ashwini, a seventh standard student of DPS (South), took the first game with a placement.

Neither player enjoyed a clear edge in the second game before Ashwini changed her tactics, attacking Pooja’s backhand. The ploy worked in Ashwini’s favour as the 12-year-old raced to a 20-14 lead. Ashwini sealed the final berth with a backhand drop.

Results (prefix denotes seeding):
Boys: U-15 (semifinals): 1-C Rahul Yadav (AP) bt 4-Kanishq M (AP) 21-15, 21-15; 2-A S S Siril Varma (AP) bt 3-Chirag Sen (Utr) 21-12, 19-21, 21-16. Quarterfinals: Rahul bt 6-Joshi Bodhit (Utr) 21-13, 21-7; Kanishq bt 8-Arintap Dasgupta (WB) 21-12, 21-10; Chirag bt 5-Chandra Kumar D (AP) 21-16, 21-13; Siril bt 7-M Mithun (Kar) 21-15, 21-13.

U-13 (semifinals): 1-Lakshya Sen (Utr) bt 14-Orijit Chaliha (Asm) 21-15, 21-15; 2-Gulshan Kumar Kartikey (Dli) bt 9-BM Rahul Bharadwaj (Kar) 17-21, 21-15, 21-11. Quarterfinals: Lakshya bt Angad Borchetia (Asm) 21-12, 21-7; Orijit bt 12-D Jaswanth (AP) 21-17, 18-21, 21-8; Rahul bt 5-Aman Raikwar (MP) 21-10, 21-6; Gulshan bt 8-Rituporna Bora (Asm) 18-21, 21-11, 21-16.

Girls: U-15 (semifinals): 1-G Vrushali (AP) bt 6-Kanika Kanwal (Dli) 21-10, 21-11; 2-Shikha Gautam (Kar) bt 8-R Santoshi Hasini (AP) 21-13, 21-19.

Quarterfinals: Vrushali bt 5-Mahima Agarwal (Kar) 21-19, 21-7; Kanika bt 4-Riya Mookerjee (WB) 21-14, 21-18; Santoshi bt 3-Shriyanshi Pardeshi (MP) 21-17, 18-21, 21-11; Gautam bt 7-Anura Prabhudesai (Goa) 21-14, 18-21, 25-23.

U-13 (semifinals): 1-Ashwini Bhat K (Kar) bt 9-Pooja Devlekar (Mah) 22-20, 21-14; 2-Deepthi Ramesh (Mah) bt 12-UK Mithula (Kar) 23-21, 21-10.

Quarterfinals: Ashwini bt Purva Barve (Mah) 16-21, 21-14, 21-16; Pooja bt 11-Dipti Kuity (Utr) 21-17, 21-15; Mithula bt 16-Rashi Lambe (Mah) 21-19, 21-19; Deepthi bt 6-M Tanishq (AP) 21-19, 21-19.

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