Clean sweep by shuttlers; Ruthvika stuns PV Sindhu to win gold

Clean sweep by shuttlers; Ruthvika stuns PV Sindhu to win gold

Rising star Ruthvika Shivani created the biggest upset stunning P V Sindhu in straight games to win the women's singles gold medal with India bagging seven gold and five silver medals from the badminton event of the South Asian Games, here today.

Ruthvika, who clinched the Senior Nationals at her home town Vijaywada in February last year, registered the biggest win of her budding career, when she bounced back from a 8-11 deficit to win 21-11 22-20 in 36 minutes.

"I had never won a single game against her -- forget about winning a match. It's the most cherished win and I never expected this. These are tears of joy," Ruthvika told PTI as she broke down in an emotional victory over Sindhu, who's world No 12.

"We train together (at the Gopichand academy in Hyderabad) and know each other well. She's amazing and is very strong physically but today I played better."

Ranked 131  BWF World Rankings, Shivani aims to break into top 5 but for that it's a long and gruelling road ahead.

Famed women's duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa overcame some early hiccups against N Sikki Reddy and Maneesha Kukapalli before winning 21-9 21-17

The inexperienced Indian pair levelled 6-6 in the first game with the left-handed Jwala struggling to retun but the star shuttler soon came on to her own in front of a packed crowd to wrap the first game.

The second game went down the wire as Sikki Reddy and Maneesha made it 17-18 from being 9-16 before Jwala and Ponappa settled it without further suprise.

Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Atri clinched the men's doubles with a 21-18 21-17 win over Akshay Dewalkar and Pranav Jerry Chopra, who had to be content with silver.

K Shrikant emerged the men's singles champion as he came back from a game behind to pip HS Prannoy 11-21 21-14 21-6 in a thrilling summit clash. Chopra and Sikki Reddy won the mixed doubles gold, a seventh for India, after overcoming a strong challenge from Atri and Ashwini 30-29 21-17 in another exciting battle in the concluding match of badminton at the SAI Complex in North East Hill University on the outskirts here.

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