It was a double delight for Indian badminton fans as Tasnim Mir and Maisnam Meiraba emerged as champions at the 30th Iran Fajr International Challenge 2022 in Shiraz on Thursday.
Unseeded Tasnim Mir reigned supreme in the women’s singles, while Maisnam Meiraba triumphed in the men’s singles.
The five-day tournament was organized by the Badminton Federation of Iran under the auspices of the Badminton World Federation.
Indian teen sensation Tasnim won her maiden senior international crown with a 21-11, 11-21, 21-7 win over Yulia Yosephine Susanto of Indonesia in the final.
The World No. 404 upset the much higher ranked Indonesian with relative ease. 16-year-old Tasnim grabbed the first game 21-11 quite easily.
The experienced Indonesian Susanto staged a comeback as the Indian committed a series of unforced errors.
Tasnim regrouped herself quickly to seal the fate of Susanto with a wonderful performance.
The young shuttler from Gujarat reached the final without dropping a single game. She toppled the top seed and world No. 71 Martina Repiska of Slovakia in straight games in the semis on Thursday.
One of the best tournaments I've played in my career: Tasnim
Tasnim was ecstatic after winning her maiden senior international title. The in-form shuttler termed it one of the best tournaments of her career so far.
“I am really happy with the results. It felt great to win my first senior title in only my third attempt. It is certainly one of the best tournaments of my career so far. It was a morale-boosting triumph for me. This win will definitely boost my confidence for the rest of the year,” she said.
Tasnim has been training at the Assam Badminton Association Academy for the last four years under the watchful eyes of Indonesian coach Edwin Iriawan. She gave credit for her success to her parents and her coaches. She thought she had a chance to win the final in straight games but a lack of focus in the second game hampered her smooth progress.
“Both semifinal and final were good matches. Both the players were higher-ranked and quite experienced ones. After upsetting the top seed yesterday I was riding high on confidence. I started well in the final but committed a lot of mistakes in the second game. In the decider, I was leading from start to finish,” the newly-crowned champion said.
She will now come back to India and train for around ten days. Her next competition is the Uganda International Tournament, which is slated to begin later this month.
Meiraba rallies to shock seventh seed in final
Maisnam Meiraba clinched a thrilling come-from-behind win over seventh seed Danylo Bosniuk of Ukraine to emerge as champion.
Twelfth seed Meiraba overcame a tough challenge to post a hard-fought 18-21, 21-13, 21-19 win over Danylo Bosniuk.
World No. 175 Meiraba was stretched to his limits in an hour-long encounter. 21-year-old Bosniuk put Meiraba under pressure by pocketing the first game.
However, 19-year-old Meiraba did not panic. The Manipur youngster displayed his array of splendid shots to grab the second game with relative ease.
Meiraba maintained his tempo in the third game too and was leading 11-6 at the break. Bosniuk, who is world No. 125, did not give up. Both players fought hard but Meiraba changed gears and jumped to 20-14. At that stage it looked like Meiraba would close it soon.
However, Bosniuk, who was the winner of the XII Internacional Mexicano 2021 International Series held a couple of months ago in Guadalajara, Mexico, bounced back. The Ukrainian saved five match points to close the gap to 19-20.
Meiraba then managed to convert his sixth match point to shatter the hopes of his opponent.
Earlier on Thursday, Meiraba shocked sixth seed Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 21-17, 21-14 to seal his place in the final. The all-India men’s singles semifinal lasted 41 minutes.
Kartikey Gulshan Kumar, who is ranked much higher at world No. 104, found Meiraba too hot to handle and succumbed in straight games.
Tasnim Mir bt 2-Yulia Yosephine Susanto (Indonesia) 21-11, 11-21, 21-7 (51 minutes)
12-Meiraba Luwang Maisnam bt 7-Danylo Bosniuk (Ukraine) 18-21, 21-13, 21-19 (60 minutes)
Tasnim Mir’s road to triumph
First round: Beat Nazanin Zamani (Iran) 21-19, 21-7 (25 minutes)
Second round: Beat Lilit Poghosyan (Armenia) 21-5, 21-11 (19 minutes)
Third round: Beat Fatemeh Babaei (Iran) 21-11, 21-4 (19 minutes)
Quarterfinal: Beat Samayara Panwar 21-12, 21-15 (27 minutes)
Semifinal: Beat 1-Martina Repiska (Slovakia) 21-15, 21-6 (24 minutes)
Final: Beat 2-Yulia Yosephine Susanto (Indonesia) 21-11, 11-21, 21-7 (51 minutes).
Maisnam Meiraba’s road to triumph
First round: 12-Meiraba bt Ivan Medynskiy (Ukraine) 21-12, 21-15 (26 minutes)
Second round: 12-Meiraba bt Mohamad Pairavand (Iran) 21-12, 21-10 (30 minutes)
Third round: 12-Meiraba bt 5-Maxime Moreels (Belgium) 21-17, 21-10 (24 minutes)
Quarterfinal: 12-Meiraba bt Georgii Lebedev (Russia) 21-18, 21-11 (34 minutes)
Semifinal: 12-Meiraba bt 6-Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 21-17, 21-14 (41 minutes)
Final: 12-Meiraba bt 7-Danylo Bosniuk (Ukraine) 18-21, 21-13, 21-19 (60 minutes).