Sai Praneeth leads PSPB to Inter State Inter Zonal Badminton Championships title
Just a few days after completing the European swing, the Indian shuttlers are back in action on the domestic circuit. Singapore Open Superseries winner B Sai Praneeth led the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) to the title in the 73rd Inter State Inter Zonal Badminton Championships held at Nagpur, Maharashtra on Friday.
The top seeded PSPB powered past Madhya Pradesh 3-0 in the final with Praneeth, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and the mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy all delivering wins in their respective matches.
The Japan Open Superseries semi-finalists Reddy and Chopra were the first ones to put PSPB ahead thanks to their commanding 21-11, 21-12 win over the Madhya Pradesh pair of Piyush Bobade and Shriyanshi Pardeshi. Shubham Prajapati then gave some stiff resistance to Sai Praneeth in the second game of the men’s singles rubber but was not able to snatch any game as Praneeth closed out the 21-15, 21-18 win in 28 minutes.
The best match of the final was reserved for the last. South Asian Games gold medallist Ruthvika Shivani Gadde had to battle for 55 minutes before pulling off a narrow 21-11, 19-21, 21-18 win over rising star, Shriyanshi Pardeshi.
Madhya Pradesh had upset second seeds in quarters
Earlier on Thursday, PSPB had blanked Andhra Pradesh 3-0 in the quarter-finals while Madhya Pradesh stunned the second seeds AAI 3-2 in their quarter-final match. Shubham Prajapati put on a sizzling show to upset Pratul Joshi and Shreyanshi Pardeshi got the better of Aakarshi Kashyap in the singles matches that paved the way for the big win.
In the semi-finals, PSPB dropped one match to beat Maharashtra 3-1. Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt, who is on the comeback trail now, succumbed to a 14-21, 22-20, 11-21 defeat to Kaushal Dharmamer in a match that lasted 52 minutes.
Madhya Pradesh also secured a win over Manipur in their respective semi-final by the same 3-1 scoreline. Prajapati, who beat Pratul Joshi earlier in the day, failed to repeat his heroics and went down fighting 12-21, 22-20, 18-21 to one of India’s best juniors, Maisnam Meiraba.
With the conclusion of the team event today, the individual Senior National Championships is all set to kick off on Saturday at the same venue. Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Srikanth Kidambi and HS Prannoy will all be competing in this star-studded event.