Rising Indian doubles shuttlers Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok capped off a brilliant week by winning the men’s doubles title at the 26th Iran Fajr Badminton International Challenge 2017 held in Tehran, Iran on Sunday. The second seeds put up a strong show in the final and comfortably beat the fifth seeded Indonesian combine of Kenas Adi Haryanto and Muhammad Reza Pahlevi Isfahani, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 in just 25 minutes.
They became the first Indian pair to win the title at this International Challenge tournament.
Arjun and Shlok have been on the rise for some time now. Last year, they ended their season on a high after capturing the Nepal International Series and finishing as runners-up at the India International Challenge.
Their consistent results have also catapulted them to a career-high ranking of 66.
This year, the young team reached the second round of the Malaysia Masters to start their 2017 season. At the Syed Modi International, however, they could not build on their momentum and bowed out in the first round to the fourth seeds Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Rian Ardianto.
At the Iran International, they were impressive all week. Until the semi-finals, they did not even drop a single game.
In the last-four encounter, they faced some stiff resistance from the fourth-seeded Indonesian combination of Sabar Karyaman Gutama and Franky Wijaya, whom they overcame 11-9, 6-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8.
That hard-fought, gritty win surely gave them the required confidence ahead of the final. There’s no doubt that this title win will give them a huge boost as they aim for higher echelons of the sport.
Kona and Francis crashed out in semis
Earlier, the top-seeded men’s doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis had bowed out in the semi-finals to the eventual runners-up Kenas Adi Haryanto and Muhammad Reza Pahlevi Isfahani. Besides them, the third Indian pair of Rohan Kapoor and Arun George could not get past the quarter-finals.
In women’s doubles, Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil were the only Indian representation and were top-seeded. But they succumbed to a four-game defeat to the unseeded Singaporean team of Ren-Ne Ong and Jia Ying Crystal Wong in the semi-finals.Published 13 Feb 2017, 17:52 IST