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Badminton Nationals: Winning start for HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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505   //    05 Feb 2017, 15:09 IST
 HS Prannoy
 HS Prannoy

The top two seeds in men’s singles at the 81st Senior National Badminton Championships – HS Prannoy and Sameer Verma – got off to a winning start at Patili Putra Sports Complex in Patna on Saturday. While the top-seeded Prannoy thrashed Saurabh Pandeyar, 21-10, 21-12, the second seed and defending champion Verma beat Shyam Prasad, 21-8, 21-9.

Sameer’s elder brother, the third-seeded Sourabh Verma too prevailed 21-10, 21-12 over Nikhilesh Sarma. Fourth seed Harsheel Dani, who recently reached the semi-finals of the Syed Modi International, continued his impressive form and pummelled Ankur Sangpang Rai, 21-11, 21-11.

There were good results for two of India’s rising stars too. Current junior World No. 1 Lakshya Sen beat Lalhlimpuia, 21-14, 21-8 while the former junior World No. 1 Siril Verma emerged a 21-11, 21-9 winner over Purushottam Awate.

Contrasting wins for top two seeds in women’s singles

In women’s singles, the top two seeds had contrasting wins in their opening rounds. Top seed Tanvi Lad needed only 23 minutes to dismiss Preety Singh, 21-12, 21-11. The second-seeded Rituparna Das had a harder time seeing off the talented Kanika Kanwal and eked out a 21-11, 16-21, 21-10 win.

The road, however, ended for two seeds. The 11th seed Vaishnavi Bhale battled hard but fell 11-21, 21-16, 14-21 to Saili Rane. 15th seeded Sheshadri Sanyal was ousted 11-21, 9-21 by Ananya Goel.

In mixed doubles, there was no trouble for the top seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and K Maneesha, who routed Ankush Joshi and Priyanka Kumawat, 21-9, 21-8. The second-seeded pair of Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan, meanwhile, came back from a game down to post a 15-21, 21-12, 21-11 victory over the wildcard combine of Gangadhara Rao V and Sonika Sai P.

The top men’s doubles teams too made smooth progress. Top seeds Tarun Kona and Alwin Francis got the better of Renuka Kiran Mouli B and Manajit Singh RK, 21-12, 21-15. The second seeds Akshay Dewalkar and Vighnesh Devlekar edged past Lokesh V and Vembarasan V, 21-17, 21-17.

In women’s doubles, the top seeds Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil beat Varsha Belawadi and Nischitha GM, 21-17, 21-15 to enter the pre-quarter-finals. Second seeds Sruthi KP and Haritha MH too had a comfortable outing as they beat Rimi Hazarika and Anjali Kalita, 21-12, 21-10.

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