Indian shuttlers continued their dominance at the 13th South Asian Games as they set up all-Indian finals in both the men's and women's singles events in Pokhara, Nepal on Thursday. While top seed Siril Verma will take on Aryaman Tandon in men's singles, the fight for the women's singles gold will be between the top seed Ashmita Chaliha and the unseeded Gayatri Gopichand, daughter of the chief national coach, Pullela Gopichand.
The all-Indian finals in the singles section has assured the contingent of at least a couple of gold medals. The men's doubles and mixed doubles categories will also see shuttlers from the country vying for the top podium, while the only category which will not feature any Indian badminton player is women's doubles.
On Thursday, Ashmita Chaliha and Gayatri Gopichand both had it pretty easy in the semi-finals. Chaliha, who hails from Assam, blew away the challenge of Sri Lanka's Achini Nimeshika Ratnasiri Kapuru Mudiyanselage 21-5, 21-7 in a heavily one-sided contest to confirm her place in the final. Gopichand was equally brilliant in her outing against Sri Lanka's Dilmi Das whom she trounced 21-17, 21-14.
Men's singles top seed Siril Verma too did not have to exert himself as he cruised to a 21-9, 21-12 win against Sri Lanka's Dinuka Nishan Perera Karunaratne. Tandon, in contrast, had to work hard for a gritty 21-18, 14-21, 21-18 upset win over second seed Ratnajit Tamang of Nepal.
Mixed doubles top seeds Dhruv Kapila and Meghana Jakkampudi eased past Nepal's Bikash Shresta and Anu Maya Rai 21-14, 21-13. Kapila will go for double gold after he and Krishna Prasad Garaga pulverized the Pakistan pair of Mohommed Atique and Raja Mohommed Hasnin 21-15, 21-7 in men's doubles.
The women's doubles section proved to be a major disappointment for India as the pairs of Sikki Reddy-Meghana Jakkampudi and Kuhoo Garg-Anoushka Parikh bowed out.Published 05 Dec 2019, 23:31 IST