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Priyanshu Rajawat beats Sathish Kumar for the title; Ishaan Bhatnagar-Sai Pratheek finish runners-up in Ukraine

Priyanshu Rajawat beat K Sathish Kumar 21-17, 21-18 in the men's singles final
Priyanshu Rajawat beat K Sathish Kumar 21-17, 21-18 in the men's singles final
Suhas Nayse
EXPERT

Priyanshu Rajawat finally lived up to his immense potential to emerge as champion at the Victor Ukraine International Series badminton tournament in Kharkiv on Friday.

The four-day tournament was organized by the Badminton Federation of Ukraine under the auspices of the Badminton World Federation.

In an all-India men’s singles summit clash between two unseeded players, Priyanshu Rajawat halted the dream run of another promising Indian shuttler, Sathish Kumar Karunakaran, with a straight-game victory.

Nineteen-year-old Priyanshu overcame Sathish Kumar 21-17, 21-18 in a hard-fought final which lasted for 46 minutes.

It was Priyanshu’s second International Series triumph after he bagged the title on debut in his maiden senior tournament appearance in Bahrain in 2019. Creating a record of sorts, Priyanshu pocketed his second men’s singles title in only three tournaments. Priyanshu has been training at the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad for nearly a decade now.

Priyanshu Rajawat won his second International Series title on Friday
Priyanshu Rajawat won his second International Series title on Friday

Priyanshu ends 14-match winning streak for Meiraba in semis

Earlier in the semi-final, Priyanshu ended the fourteen-match winning streak of Maisnam Meiraba with a 21-17, 21-17 verdict.

Meiraba triumphed in the Latvia Future Series tournament (8 matches) a couple of weeks ago and continued his spectacular run in Ukraine (6 matches) also to reach the semi-finals. In both tournaments he entered the main draw through qualifications.

K Sathish Kumar did well to reach the men's singles final
K Sathish Kumar did well to reach the men's singles final

In the other semis, Sathish Kumar rallied back strongly to edge past Ong Ken Yon of Malaysia 19-21, 21-17, 21-17 in 70 minutes.

After losing the opening game narrowly, 20-year-old Sathish Kumar staged a remarkable comeback to shatter the hopes of the dangerous Malaysian.

Ishaan Bhatnagar and Sai Pratheek lose men’s doubles final in 3 games

India would have bagged their second title of the day had their men’s doubles pair of Ishaan Bhatnagar and Sai Pratheek K won their final. However, unseeded Ishaan and Sai Pratheek went down fighting against Malaysia’s Junaidi Arif and Muhammad Haikal 15-21, 21-19, 15-21 in an hour-long battle.

Ishaan Bhatnagar (L) excelled in both men's and mixed doubles in Ukraine
Ishaan Bhatnagar (L) excelled in both men's and mixed doubles in Ukraine

The new combination of Ishaan and Sai Pratheek thumped Loo Bing Kun and Lwi Sheng Hao of Malaysia 24-22, 21-17 in 40 minutes in the semis earlier in the day.

However, the young Indian combination could not repeat their magical display against another Malaysian pair.

In the women’s singles, Aadya Variyath lost against Polina Buhrova of Ukraine 8-21, 15-21. Indian teenager Aadya failed to get past the local star in a match which lasted for 36 minutes.

Indian results

(Semi-finals)

Men’s singles

Priyanshu Rajawat bt Meiraba Luwang Maisnam 21-17, 21-17 (43 minutes)

Sathish Kumar Karunakaran bt Ong Ken Yon (Malaysia) 19-21, 21-17, 21-17 (70 minutes)

Women’s singles

Aadya Variyath lost to Polina Buhrova (Ukraine) 8-21, 15-21 (36 minutes)

Men's doubles

Ishaan Bhatnagar-Sai Pratheek K bt Loo Bing Kun-Lwi Sheng Hao (Malaysia) 24-22, 21-17 (40 minutes)

Ravikrishna PS-Sankar Prasad Udayakumar lost to Junaidi Arif-Muhammad Haikal (Malaysia) 21-19, 21-14 (35 minutes)

(Finals)

Men’s singles

Priyanshu Rajawat bt Sathish Kumar Karunakaran 21-17, 21-18 (46 minutes)

Men’s doubles

Ishaan Bhatnagar-Sai Pratheek K lost to Junaidi Arif-Muhammad Haikal (Malaysia) 15-21, 21-19, 15-21 (59 minutes).


Edited by Prem Deshpande
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