PSPB retain men's and women's titles

PSPB retain men's and women's titles

Defending champions Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) on Saturday extended their record run at the inter-State badminton championship, winning the men’s and women’s titles for the 14th time at the Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Complex here.

The script was no different than last year as PSPB women notched up a 2-1 victory over Airport Authority Of India to bag the Chadha Cup, while their men’s team defeated second seed Air India 3-1 to clinch the Rahimatoola Cup at the 68th edition of the tournament.

London Olympics quarterfinalist P Kashyap looked rusty as Air India’s Pratul Joshi took the first game off him. The world number 20 was trailing 10-13 in the second game but he took control of the match in time to eventually register a 12-21, 21-15, 21-12 win over Joshi in 49 minutes in the first singles.

Ajay Jayaram was expected to increase the lead but the world number 25 ended up losing the second singles to Anand Pawar 17-21, 17-21 in 39 minutes to see Air India level the scores 1-1.

Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu then helped to make it 2-1 after the PSPB doubles pair notched up a 22-20, 21-15 win over Akshay Dewalkar and Anand Pawar and with Sai Praneeth taming Gopiraju G 21-14, 21-15 in the third singles, it was all over for Air India in the finals.

In the Chadha Cup, PC Thulasi prevailed over Neha Pandit 21-15, 21-7 in just 30 minutes to put PSPB 1-0 ahead. But, doubles combine of Ashwini Ponnappa and Prajakta Sawant lost to Pradnya Gadre and N Sikki Reddy 14-21, 17-21 in 28 minutes to allow AAI bounce back into the contest.

However, AAI’s hopes were dashed by Arundhanti Pantawane when the PSPB girl defeated Mohita Sahdev 21-16, 21-11 in 28 minutes to give her team the title.