Karnataka men, girls champs

 Karnataka men notched up a 3-1 win over Kerala to claim the men’s title in the 69th South Zone inter-state badminton championship in Manipal here on Tuesday.

Having entered the final with a 3-0 win over Tamil Nadu in the semifinal on Monday, Karnataka were primed to go the distance against Kerala. In the best of five final, Karnataka opened their account as Aditya Prakash scored a convincing 21-8, 21-16 win over Arun George.

Karnataka then took a 2-0 lead when Prakash Jolly overcame stiff resistance from Sunjith S 19-21, 21-14, 21-11.

Karnataka had a chance to seal the title in their favour when Guruprasad and Aditya Prakash teamed up for the doubles rubber against Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar. However, the experienced Kerala duo posted a 21-14, 21-11 win to pull one back.

In the third singles rubber, Rohan Castelino clawed his back after losing the first set to defeat Mohammed Munaver 21-23, 21-8, 21-16 and help the hosts to the crown.

Kerala, however, made up for that loss by bagging the boys’ and the women’s titles with wins over Andhra Pradesh.

Karnataka had more reason to smile later in the day as their girls team clinched top honours with a 2-1 win over Andhra Pradesh in the final.

Results (all finals): Rahimtoola Cup for men: Karnataka bt Kerala 3-1 (Aditya Prakash bt Arun George 21-8, 21-16; Prakash Jolly bt Sunjith S 19-21, 21-14, 21-11; Guruprasad/ Aditya Prakash lt to Sanave Thomas/ Rupesh Kumar 14-21, 11-21; Rohan Castelino bt Mohammed Munaver 21-23, 21-8, 21-16).

Narang Cup for boys: Kerala bt Andhra Pradesh 2-0 (Arun George bt S Balu Mahendra 21-6, 21-17; Arun George/ Shyam Prasad bt KP Chaitanya/ V Gangadhara Rao 21-17, 21-15).
Chadha Cup for women: Kerala bt Andhra Pradesh 2-0 (Aarthi Sara Sunil bt G Vrushali 21-18, 21-12; Aarthi Sara Sunil/ KP Sruthi bt D Pooja/ P Sonika Sai 21-12, 21-12).

Shafi Qureshi Cup for girls: Karnataka bt Andhra Pradesh 2-1 (Shika Gautham lt to G Vrushali 16-21, 14-21; Shika Gautham/Mahima Agarwal bt D Pooja/ P Sonika Sai 21-13, 21-18; Mahima Agarwal bt K Sri Krishna Priya 21-14, 22-24, 21-16).

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