Ashwini emerges champ

Badminton Sub-Junior National-ranking meet

Karnataka’s Ashwini Bhat K made a timely recovery from an erratic second game to clinch the girls’ under-13 title in the 11th Union Bank Sub-junior National-ranking badminton tournament here on Sunday.

Ashwini, the top seed, scored a battling 21-13, 19-21, 21-19 win over second seed Deepthi Ramesh of Maharashtra in the summit clash that lasted for 45 minutes at the KBA courts.

But the girls’ under-15 second seed Shikha Gautam, who won five titles in the last month’s State championships, couldn’t emulate her performance here, going down to top seed Vrushali G of Andhra Pradesh 18-21, 16-21 in the final.

Shikha made amends for her defeat by claiming the doubles crown, teaming up with Mahima Agarwal to outplay Andhra Pradesh pair of P Sonika Sai and G Vrushali 21-9, 21-13.

Andhra Pradesh’s C Rahul Yadav, who overcame State-mate ASS Siril Varma 21-18, 21-15, and Delhi’s Gulshan Kumar Kartikey, who beat Uttaranchal’s Lakshya Sen 22-20, 21-18, claimed the boys’ under-15 and under-13 crowns respectively.

Ashwini played the drop shots to telling effect and with occasional smashes the 12-year-old State champion, who took a healthy 15-10 lead, cruised home in the first game.

But Ashwini’s game fell apart mid-way through the second game after going 15-11 up. Ashwini hit three times into the net before smashing wide to hand Deepthi one-point lead at 16-15. After drawing level the scores at 19-all, Ashwini hit a smash out before misjudging her opponent’s serve that landed on the baseline as the match went into the decider.

In the third game, Ashwini played a much controlled game, attacking her opponent’s weak backhand and forcing her to commit the mistakes. With deep returns and drop shots, the DPS (South) seventh standard student moved to 18-15.
Under pressure, Ashwini again committed unforced errors and allowed Deepthi to crawl back to level the scores at 19-all. Ashwini fetched match point with a placement deep into the baseline and she took the match when her rival dumped a backhand return into the net.

Results (final, prefix denotes seeding):  Boys: U-15: 1-C Rahul Yadav (AP) bt 2-ASS Siril Varma (AP) 21-18, 21-15. Doubles: 1-Chirag Sen/ C Rahul Yadav (Utr/AP) bt 2-Chandra Kumar D/ Kanishq M (AP) 21-13, 21-16.
U-13: 2-Gulshan Kumar Kartikey (Dli) bt 1-Lakshya Sen (Utr) 22-20, 21-18. Doubles: 1-Vaibhav Chauhan/ Lakshya Sen (Utr) bt 2-G Kartikey/ B Rahul Bhardhvaj (Dli/Kar) 21-11, 21-16.
Girls: U-15: 1-G Vrushali (AP) bt 2-Gautam Shikha (Kar) 21-18, 21-16.
Doubles: 1-Mahima Agarwal/ Shikha Gautam (Kar) bt 2-P Sonika Sai/ G Vrushali (AP) 21-9, 21-13.
U-13: 1-Ashwini Bhat K (Kar) bt 2-Deepthi Ramesh (Mah) 21-13, 19-21, 21-19. Doubles: Purva Barve/ Deepthi Ramesh (Mah) bt 4-Riya Arolkar/ Pooja Devlekar (Mah) 17-21, 21-19, 21-18.

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