National Ranking Badminton: Siril, Malvika triumph

Siril Varma defeated Kerala’s junior national champion Kiran George, while Malvika Bansod staved off a fighting Purva Barve.

Siril Varma and Malvika Bansod, the winners of the men's and women's singles titles of the National-ranking Badminton tournament.   -  K. RAGESH

Telangana’s A.S.S. Siril Varma and AAI’s Malvika Bansod won the men’s and women’s singles titles in the Yonex-Sunrise Mathrubhumi Senior National-ranking Badminton tournament at the V. K. K. Menon Indoor Stadium here on Sunday evening.

Playing his cards well and conserving his energy smartly for the decider, Siril defeated Kerala’s junior national champion Kiran George 21-17, 13-21, 21-8 for the men’s title while Malvika staved off a fighting Purva Barve 21-19, 23-21 in an all-Maharashtra final.

When Kiran, who had shocked the top-seeded Ansal Yadav on Saturday, took a 16-10 lead in the second game, Siril looked weary as he caved in meekly.

“I knew Kiran was looking very good in that game, so I did not fight. I wanted to come out fresh in the decider and I gave my hundred per cent there,” said the 19-year-old Siril, who has an impressive success rate in all-India tournaments in Kerala the last 10 years.

Read: Hemanth lets top-seeded Ansal off the hook

Siril and Kiran engaged in long, thrilling rallies but the Telangana player’s jump smashes from the baseline made all the difference in the decider.

Meanwhile in the women’s final, Malvika built up huge leads in both the games but she also frittered them away easily. The 18-year-old from Nagpur led 18-13 in the opening game and 19-13 in the next only to frustratingly watch as a fighting Purva levelled at 19 and 20 in each game.

“I was not at all at my best, still I scraped through because I was positive and kept on playing. My accuracy was, I think, not what it normally is, I think it was the heavy humidity here,” explained AAI’s Malvika.

“But just when the going got tough, Malavika got crucial breakthroughs, with a smart drop in the first game and a shot that was just out of Purva's reach in the next, to regain the advantage and the match.

“At 19-all in the first game, I just wanted that one point. She got it,” said Purva, who is coached by former international Nikhil Kanetkar and who was playing her first Senior National circuit final here, about the moment that shattered her.

The results (finals)

Men’s singles: A.S.S. Siril Varma (TS) bt Kiran George (Ker) 21-17, 13-21, 21-8.

Doubles: G. Krishna Prasad (AP) & Dhruv Kapila (AI) bt Sri Krishna Sai Kumar (TS) & Gouse Shaik (AP) 21-18, 21-13.

Women’s singles final: Malavika Bansod (AAI) bt Purva Barve (AI) 21-19, 23-21.

Doubles: K. Maneesha (RBI)/Rituparna Panda (Ori) bt Aparna Balan (Pet) & Prajakta Sawant (AI) 21-18, 21-13.

Mixed: Rohan Kapoor (AI) & Rituparna Panda (Ori) bt Sri Krishna Sai Kumar (TS) & Kanika Kanwal (Rly) 21-19, 21-14.

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