Rahul, Aakarshi U-19 champs

Rahul, Aakarshi U-19 champs

Giant-killer Rahul Bhardhvaj ended the 16th Union Bank all-India junior ranking badminton tournament in memorable fashion with a dominant victory in the boys’ under-19 singles final.

The Karnataka lad came up against Air India’s Aryamann Tandon in the summit clash and was on the mark right from the word go, notching up a 21-12, 21-14 win.

In the first game, Rahul raced to an early 13-6 lead before allowing his sixth seeded opponent to claw back, leaving the scores at 16-11. But he then reeled off four consecutive points and then closed out the game at 21-12.

A deflated Aryamann showed signs of a comeback, taking a slender lead at the beginning of the second game but Rahul fought back with the game in the balance at 11-10.

Thereafter, unforced errors creeped into the Air India shuttlers’ game and Rahul took full advantage to win the game 21-14 and, with it, lift the title.

Earlier, Aakarshi Kashyap’s chances of a grand double were shot to dust as Gayatri Gopichand Pullela showed good spirit to rally from a game down and wear the girls’ singles under-17 crown after a 13-21, 21-17, 21-14 triumph.

Gayatri, daughter of P Gopichand, proved to be a chip of the old block as she refused to lie low despite a loss in the first game.

Displaying a good recovery game, the Telengana shuttler faced no further issues en route to her victory.

Chhattisgarh’s Aakarshi, though, did end the day on a high with a thumping 21-15, 21-12 domination of Maharashtra’s Vaidehi Choudhari in the girl’s under-19 final.

Results (all finals): Boys: U-19: Singles: Rahul Bhardhvaj BM (Ktk) bt Aryamann Tandon (AI) 21-12, 21-14.

Doubles: Manjit Singh Khwairakpam/ Dingku Sing Konthoujam (Mnp) bt Amrith B/ Muanis Mohamed (Ker) 21-9, 16-21, 21-18.

U-17: Singles: Maisnam Meiraba (Mnp) bt Iman Sonowal (Asm) 21-17, 21-12.
Doubles: Kush Chugh (Har)/ Piyush Kumar (UP) bt Iman Sonowal (Asm)/ Akash Thakur (Bhr) 21-18, 21-13.

Girls: U-19: Singles: Aakarshi Kashyap (Cg) bt Vaidehi Choudhari (Mah) 21-15, 21-12.
Doubles: Rutaparna Panda (Ori)/ Mithula U K (Ktk) bt Ashwini Bhat K/ Apeksha Nayak (Ktk) 21-14, 18-21, 21-19. U-17: Singles: Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (Tel) bt Aakarshi Kashyap (Cg) 13-21, 21-17, 21-14.

Doubles: Sahithi Bandi (Tel)/ Varshini V S (TN) bt Samiya Imad Farooqui/ Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (TS) 17-21, 21-17, 21-17. Mixed Doubles: U-19: Sri Krishna Sai Kumar Podile (Tel)/ Rutaparna Panda (Ori) bt Sanjai Srivatsa D (PY)/ Srishti Jupudi (TS) 21-14, 22-20 .

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