Rajawat clinches all-India U-19 boys’ title

Defeats fifth seed Kiran George 21-14, 19-21, 21-16 in the final.

Priyanshu Rajawat (left) and Aakarshi Kashyap, the title winners.   -  Rayan Rozario

Priyanshu Rajawat brushed aside the challenge of fifth seed Kiran George 21-14, 19-21, 21-16 to clinch the boys’ title in the Yonex Sunrise all-India junior (Under-19) ranking badminton tournament at the Mohan's Badminton Academy courts here on Sunday.

All eyes were on the lean and hungry-looking Rajawat as he came through the qualifiers and battled hard right through before making it to the final. And, the 16-year-old did not disappoint his coaches from the Gopichand Badminton Academy. It was his aggressive approach to the game that got him the first set against the much-experienced Kiran, son of former India star George Thomas.

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Having surrendered the first, Kiran came back strongly in the second. He mixed his shots well and put the pressure back on Rajawat, who fell prey to his opponent's plan for the first time in the match. The latter played in a hurried manner and that did him in the second.

The third set was evenly fought but Rajawat handled the big points well and played cool as well to seal the set and match.

‘Lucky venue’

Incidentally, it was at this venue that Rajawat had walked away with the Under-13 title as well. "It's a lucky venue for me and I wish to take off in a big way from here," said Rajawat.

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He did agree that he was was under pressure. “He is a much experienced player and I wanted to get things right and that built some pressure on me.”

Kiran was obviously disappointed. “The pressure was actually on me because I was playing against a youngster who has put up a good show throughout,” he said. But he had words of consolation from his father. “He asked me to take it easy,” added Kiran.

Earlier in the evening, Aakarshi Kashyap, who trains at the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bengaluru, easily dispatched surprise finalist S. Kavipriya of Puducherry 21-8, 21-11.

The results (Final)
  • Boys: Priyanshu Rajawat (MP) bt Kiran George (Ker) 21-14, 19-21, 21-16.
  • Girls: Aakarshi Kashyap (CG) bt S. Kavipriya (Pdy) 21-8, 21-11.
  • Mixed doubles: S. K. Sai Kumar Podile & Srishti Jupudi (TS) bt Edwin Joy & Nafeesah Sara Siraj (Ker) 21-17, 21-16.