National Badminton C’ship: Chetan, Diju shine in doubles

The former national champions outsmarted the young Manipur duo of M. Khwairakpam and D. Konthoujam 16-21 21-19 22-20.

Seasoned campaigners Chetan Anand (right) and V. Diju combined well against M. Khwairakpam and D. Konthoujam in the men's doubles first round of the Senior national badminton championship in Nagpur on Saturday.   -  V.V. SUBRAHMANYAM


Even as the second rung of players were battling out on the adjacent courts, it was the seasoned duo of Chetan Anand and V. Diju who were the cynosure of all eyes in what was also the most awaited match of the evening when they outsmarted the young Manipur duo of M. Khwairakpam and D. Konthoujam 16-21 21-19 22-20 in the men’s doubles first round of the Senior National badminton championship at the Divisional Sports Complex here on Saturday.

Former national champion Chetan and Diju virtually dished out a lesson in the art of scoring points in crunch time for the truly spirited Manipur boys, who incidentally train at the Gopichand Academy. It was not just the way they fought back, but also the manner in which both the internationals ‘taught’ how to slow down the shuttle in the decider, which clearly unnerved the young Manipuri duo.

Nat'l Badminton: PSPB retains title in style

And, they were immensely pleased with the win; so much so that Chetan corrected a reporter when he referred to them as veterans. “Please call us seniors or men, not veterans,” he said with a smile even while gently reminding that he and Diju want to play regularly in the doubles. “I still enjoy my game and would love to keep playing as long as I can,” he signed off.

Earlier, 17-year-old former World Junior No. 1 A.S.S. Siril Verma, whom chief national coach Pullela Gopichand is keen to play now more in the seniors circuit, began his campaign in style with a fluent Talar Laa 21-11, 21 14 win in the men’s singles first round.

International R.M.V. Guru Sai Dutt was also off to a convincing start with a 21-11 21-9 win over Ratikanta Saha in another first round match.

Other important results:

Women’s singles 2nd round: Riya Pillai (Maha) bt Prashi Joshi (AI) 21-18 21-11; K. Kanwal bt M. Kshetrimayum 21-15 21-7; M. Tanishq (AP) bt A.J. Niranjana (Ker) 21-16 21; Riya Mookerjee (Rlys) bt Niteshi Saini (J & K) 21-15 21-11; Shruti Mundada (Maha) bt L. Rinzuali (Miz) 21-19 21-12; G. Ruthvika Shivani (AP) bt Unnati Bist 21-13 21-13; Ira Sharma (Har) bt Divyanshi Sharma 21-12 21-18; Dipti Kuity bt Mudra Dhainje 16-21 21-15, 21-16; Dapasha Joshi bt Najma Khan 21-12 21-16; Deepali Gupta bt Shivani Santosh Singh 21-17 21-15; Mansi Singh bt Likhita Srivastava 21-5 21-12; Rithika Thaker bt Mehreen Riza 21-13 21-9; Mrunmayi Saoji bt Akshaya Arumugam 21-9 21-11.

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