Bangalore lad Arvind Bhat upsets Kashyap; two titles for Prajakta Sawant
Rohtak (Haryana): Pune girl Aditi Mutatkar finally accomplished her long-sought dream, winning the women’s singles title at the National Badminton Championships in a tense final here on Monday.
Mutatkar, who has been in the shadows of her more illustrious compatriot Saina Nehwal and senior pro Trupti Murgunde, finally grabbed her opportunity, coming back from the brink of defeat to overcome Arundhati Pantwane of Maharashtra 19-21 23-21 21-15.
Arvind Bhat made it double delight for the Padukone Academy, claiming his second national title by surprising young contender and world No. 25 P Kashyap 21-13 21-17.
In the combined events, Rupesh Kumar/ Sanave Thomas won their seventh successive title in the men’s doubles. For Rupesh, who had two earlier titles with Marcose Bristow (2002 and 2003), it was an astonishing ninth successive men’s doubles title.
The women’s and mixed doubles saw new champions in the absence of Jwala Gutta. Top seeds Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant withstood a tough challenge from second seeds Pradnya Gadre/ Jyotshna P to win 13-21 21-19 21-15. Aparna Balan’s hopes of a double title, however, were nixed when she fell in the mixed doubles final. Aparna, top seeded along with Arun Vishnu, were upset by second seeds Pranav Chopra/ Prajakta Sawant 18-21 21-11 21-13 – thus getting Mumbai girl Prajakta a double triumph.
Aditi was pushed to the limit in her quest for her first national title. Pantwane, a fast, attacking player from the Gopichand stable, raced away with the first game from 13-all onwards. Aditi recovered to establish an early lead in the second game, and led 14-7, but Pantwane fought back and leveled. It was a neck-and-neck contest from there, but Pantwane surged ahead and had two match points at 20-18. Aditi equaled at 20-all, but Pantwane had one more match point. The more experienced Aditi, however, managed to hold her nerve and take the next three points to force the decider, which she sealed in emphatic fashion.
Results (all finals):
MS: Arvind Bhat bt P Kashyap 21-13 21-17
WS: Aditi Mutatkar bt Arundhati Pantwane 19-21 23-21 21-15
MD: Rupesh Kumar/ Sanave Thomas bt Manu Attaree/ Jishnu Sanyal 21-15 21-9
WD: 1-Aparna Balan/ Prajakta Sawant bt 2-Pradnya Gadre/ Jyotshna P 13-21 21-19 21-15
MXD: 2-Pranav Chopra/ Prajakta Sawant bt 1-Arun Vishnu/ Aparna Balan 18-21 21-11 21-13