Aman, Aakarshi emerge badminton champions at KIYG
Pune, January 13: Aman Farogh Sanjay in the boys Under-21 singles and Aarya Deshpande and Ananya Phadke in the girls Under-17 girls doubles helped hosts Maharashtra add two gold to their overall tally on the final day of badminton competition at the Khelo India Youth Games here on Sunday.
However, 2018 Khelo India School Games girls gold medallist Malvika Bansod, had to settle for silver as Chhattisgarh’s Aakarshi Kashyap proved too strong for her on the day.
Aman Farogh of Thane, a student of Karamveer Bhaurao College was up against the gritty Rahul Bhardwaj of Karnataka but the dapper left-hander moved with dexterity and mixed up his shots well to make the final his own, winning 21-17, 23-21 in just 40 minutes.
"This gold medal means a lot to me as I've had a lot of second place finishes in national tournaments,” Aman said later. “My coach Shrikant Wagh has played a crucial part in this victory, as for the past several months I've been training rigorously in his Thane academy.”
Having lost the Khelo India School Games final in Delhi, Aakarshi of Chhattisgarh was determined to come up with a better result here.
Malvika had not dropped a single game on her way to the final and expectations were high being the crowd favourite, but Aakarshi, who trains at the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bengaluru won 21-11, 21-16 to avenge her Delhi defeat.
"I was confident of winning today because I had recently won the junior nationals. My coaches Vimal Kumar and Saylee Gokhale at the PKBA academy worked very hard on my weakness which was not winning long rallies. I interacted with my coaches over the phone and they guided me properly," said Aakarshi later.
In the girls' U-17 doubles, Ananya Phadke and Aarya Deshpande clinched the gold in a one-sided final. The Maharashtra duo, who did not drop a single game in the tournament, outclassed Rajasthan’s Sakshi Asrani and Ankushka Mehta 21-16, 21-13 in just 29 minutes.
Ananya, a 10th standard student of Abhinav Vidyalay, Pune said, "I've never participated in a multisport event. The Khelo India Youth Games is a really big platform as the entire nation is watching, it feels like the Olympics.
“Winning gold in my hometown is like icing on the cake."
Added Aarya, a 10th standard student of Gurukul Secondary School, Satara, This gold is not only for us. We dedicate it to Maharashtra."
In the girls, U-17 final, 13-year-old Gopichand Academy trainee Mir Tasnim Ali of Gujarat overpowered Mansi Singh of Uttar Pradesh 23-21, 21-16.
In other action, Gandham Pranav Rao of Telangana came from behind to beat Haryana’s Ravi in a thriller 21-15, 18-21, 11-21 to give Telangana their only badminton gold (boys U-17) of the Games.
Rajasthan’s Nikunj Pandey and Shubham Patel beat C.S. Kousthik and R. Vikash Prabhu of Tamil Nadu 21-15, 22-20 in the boys doubles U-17 final.
U-21 boys singles: Aman Farogh Sanjay (Mah) bt Rahul Bhardwaj(Kar) 21-17,23-21
U-21 girls singles: Aakarshi Kashyap (Cha) bt Malvika Bansod (Mah) 21-11, 21-16
U-17 boys singles: Gandham Rao (Tel) bt Ravi (Haryana) 15-21, 21-18, 21-11
U-17 girls singles: Mir Tarnim Ali (Guj) bt Mansi Singh (UP) 23-21, 21-16
U-17 boys doubles: Nikunj Pandey/Shubham Patel (Raj) bt C.S. Kousthik/R. Vikash Prabhu (TN) 21-15, 22-20
U-17 girls doubles: Arya Deshpande/Ananya Phadke (Mah) bt Sakshi Asrani/Ankushka Mehta (Raj) 21-16, 21-13