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Sports Badminton 24 Jun 2019 Double delight: Gaya ...

Double delight: Gayatri does dad Gopi proud with two titles at national event

Published Jun 24, 2019, 12:52 am IST
Updated Jun 24, 2019, 12:52 am IST
16-year-old Gayatri took the women’s singles trophy and then combined with Rutaparna Panda to win the doubles too.
Winners of the All India Senior Ranking Badminton tournament pose with their trophies at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad on Sunday.
 Winners of the All India Senior Ranking Badminton tournament pose with their trophies at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Hyderabad: Gayatri Gopichand Pullela finished on a high with two titles while sixth seed Lakshya Sen staved off a stiff resistance from second seed Rahul Yadav Chittaboina to triumph in men’s singles as the Yonex-Sunrise All India Senior Ranking Badminton Tournament concluded here at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy on Sunday.

Gayatri, who had upset the fourth seed Aakarshi Kashyap this week, announced her arrival in the senior category with a title in women’s singles as well as women’s doubles.


In singles, the 16-year-old, who was seeded 13th, needed just 37 minutes to see off the challenge of Tanvi Lad, 21-19, 21-16 to lay her hands on her first Senior Ranking tournament trophy, much to the delight of her father and national chief coach Pullela Gopichand.

Gayatri later made it a memorable day when she teamed up with Rutaparna Panda to defeat the fourth seeds and reigning national champions Shikha Gautam and Ashwini Bhat 19-21, 21-14, 21-10.

Overjoyed by Gayatri’s performance, Hyderabad District Badminton Association president V. Chamundeswarnath presented a cash prize of `1 lakh to the promising player.

Lakshya, who reached the China Masters final in March, was put to a stern test by Chittaboina who edged the Prakash Padukone protégé 25-23 in the first game in an absorbing men’s singles final that lasted 61 minutes. The 2018 Asian junior champion found his rhythm and range midway through the match to take the next couple of games on his way to a 23-25, 21-14, 21-13 victory that gave him his first title of the year.

There was no stopping the men’s doubles top seeds Krishna Prasad Garaga and Dhruv Kapila who did not drop a game to record a 23-21, 21-17 win over seventh seeds Sri Krishna Sai Kumar Podile and Gouse Shaik. They had won gold at the Senior Ranking tournament in Vijayawada earlier.

Shaik, however, amended for his mistakes in the mixed doubles category. The seventh-seeded pair of Shaik and Mayuri Yadav fought for 50 minutes to register a thrilling 21-19, 13-21, 21-12 win over Krishna Prasad and Ashwini Bhat.