Kiran George knocked out B. Sai Praneeth to join Sameer Verma, Priyanshu Rajawat and Ravi in the top-four bracket in the BAI National selection trials at the Indira Gandhi Stadium Complex here on Sunday.
Among the women, Malvika Bansod proved a big casualty after running into Ashmita Chaliha, who made it to the top-four along with Akarshi Kashyap, Aditi Bhatt and Unnati Hooda. Kiran George took out Praneeth 23-21, 11-21, 21-16 to top the four-man Group A where his victims included Sourabh Verma.
The battle to top Group B was far more fiercely fought before Rajawat finished ahead of Kartikey Gulshan Kumar. The race was decided on a superior points won/lost record after the players finished with two wins and a loss. Both players won five games and lost three. Rajawat’s points won/lost tally stood at 164-142 to Kartikey’s 154-145. In fact, Rajawat defeated Kartikey 19-21, 21-15, 21-12 but lost to third-placed Sai Charan Koya in three games.
Ravi made it from Group C following victories over Alap Mishra, Arjun Rehani and Shreyansh Jaiswal.
In Group D, Sameer Verma and M. Mithun tied with two wins and a loss. But Sameer advanced on the basis of winning five games to Mithun’s four.
Aakarshi beats Tanya Hemanth
In women’s Group A, Aakarshi scored over Tanya Hemanth and Neysa Cariappa to emerge on top. But the surprise came from in Group B, where Ashmita overpowered Malvika 21-16, 21-18 for her second win in the three-player pool.
Aditi Bhatt was taken to three games by rising talent Tasnim Mir 21-14, 17-21, 21-10 in Group C while Unnati defeated Purva Barve 21-18, 20-22, 22-20 to just about make the grade from Group D.
The qualifying race in the three doubles events will be clearer on Monday.