Badminton nationals: Lakshya, Sourabh, Harsheel win on Day 1

The 17-year-old Lakshya Sen from Uttarakhand, who had clinched the Asian Junior title and a bronze medal at the World Junior Championship last year, defeated Delhi’s Rahul 21-13 21-13 in a 28-minute match.

Lakshya Sen of Airports Authority of India (AAI) in action against R. Patel of Delhi in the 83rd Senior National Badminton Championship in Guwahati on Tuesday.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Teen sensation Lakshya Sen launched the bid to claim his maiden Senior Badminton National title with a straight-game win over Delhi’s Rahul Patel and entered the men’s singles third round here on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old from Uttarakhand, who had clinched the Asian Junior title and a bronze medal at the World Junior Championship last year, defeated Delhi’s Rahul 21-13 21-13 in a 28-minute match. Lakshya got a bye in the first round.

Lakshya, who had entered the finals in 2017 and semifinals in the last edition, set up a third-round clash against Jammu and Kashmir’s Vipul Saini.

Former two-time champion Sourabh Verma also made a rousing start to his campaign with a dominating 21-10 21-8 win over Jayapragasham VS. He will play Assam’s Iman Sonowal in the second round.

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Maharashtra’s Harsheel Dani, who had won the 2018 Ghana International, prevailed over Telangana’s Siril Varma, a former World Junior Championships silver medallist 23-21 21-17 and will meet Haryana’s 17th seed Balraj Kajla.

On a busy opening day of the 83rd edition of Yonex Sunrise Senior National Badminton Championships, as many as 250 matches were played on nine different courts.

State athletes off to a good start

Five singles shuttlers from Assam made a positive start to their campaign.

Assam’s Orijit Chaliha won 21-14 21-18 against Gujarat’s Vishal Dave before losing to Mithun Manjunath 21-11 21-9 in the second round, while Rituporna Bora defeated West Bengal’s Anirban Mandal 21-5, 21-18 in men’s singles clashes.

In women’s singles, Megha Bora Morchana beat Nagaland’s Ekumyala 21-9 21-14, while Suzen Burhagohain advanced to the second round after Goa’s Yasmin Syed retired trailing 2-3.

Among other matches, Arintap Dasgupta dumped Anay Shirpurkar 21-8 21-5 while fifth seed Rahul Yadav Chittaboina steamrolled Karan Choudhary 21-17,21-8 in 32 minutes. Sixth seed Aryamann Tandon brushed aside Bidyasagar Salam 21-6 21-6 on way to Round 3.

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Seventh seeded mixed doubles pair of Manu Attri and Maneesha K demolished Mohit Tiwari and Smirti Nagarkoti 21-5 21-6, while Jammu and Kashmir’s Raghav Dogra and Rupal Anand beat Sikkim’s Rewash Rai and Tashi Choden Gurung 21-12, 21-15 in another match.

Shlok Ramchandran and his mixed doubles partner Mithula UK defeated Akshit Mahajan and Anupama Upadhyaya 21-12 21-19 en route to the third round.

The preliminaries will decide who all get to meet the top eight singles seeds, who will begin their challenge directly from the pre-quarters.

Similarly, in doubles, the top four teams have been exempted from playing until the quarters.

The seeds will be decided after the Super Draw is conducted on February 14.

Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu will be the top stars in women’s singles.

In the absence of defending champion HS Prannoy and former winner Kidambi Srikanth, BWF World Tour Finals semi-finalist Sameer Verma will be the biggest name in men’s singles.

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