Nepal International Series: Indian shuttlers capture four titles
Indian shuttlers finished a memorable campaign at the recently-concluded Nepal International Series badminton tournament, clinching as many as four titles out of a possible five. India, who had sent the highest contingent comprising 23 players, triumphed in men’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles.
Abhishek Yelegar continued his recent run of form as the second seed reigned supreme in men’s singles. The 22-year-old, who is at a career-best 133rd ranking, got the better of compatriot and fifth seed Siddharath Thakur, 21-16, 21-14 in just 25 minutes.
For Yelegar, this was his second title in as many weeks after winning the Bangladesh International Challenge just one week ago. This latest win made Yelegar richer by $450 while Thakur got $228.
In women’s doubles, the pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram lived up to their top seeding. The Indians comfortably prevailed over fellow Indian duo of Anoushka Parikh and Harika Veludurthi, 21-16, 21-12 in 35 minutes.
Parikh and Veludurthi were giant-killers and had upset the second-seeded Pakistani pair of Palwasha Bashir and Saima Manzoor in three games in the quarter-finals.
In men’s doubles, the second seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran beat the unseeded combine of Rizwan Azam and Sulehri Kashif Ali of Pakistan, 21-18, 21-15 to emerge as the champions. The summit clash lasted 30 minutes.
There was a huge upset in the mixed doubles section as the unseeded team of Saurabh Sharma and Anoushka Parikh edged past the top seeds Venkat Gaurav Prasad and Juhi Dewangan, 14-21, 21-19, 21-19 in a marathon 45-minute encounter.
Earlier in the tournament, Sharma and Parikh had also accounted for the second seeds Ratnajit Tamang and Nangsal Tamang in the last-eight stage.
The only non-Indian winner at this event was in women’s singles where Vietnam’s top seed Thuy Linh Nguyen eased to a 21-17, 21-16 victory over Devi Yunita Indah Sari of Indonesia. Just like the men’s singles, the winner picked up a cheque of $450 while the runner -up walked away with $228.
Hosts Nepal had the second most number of participants (21) with Bangladesh fielding nine, Vietnam seven and Pakistan six in this tournament.