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Tarun Kona and Saurabh Sharma win Jamaica International

416   //    05 Mar 2018, 21:58 IST

tarun kona saurabh sharma
Saurabh Sharma (extreme right) and Tarun Kona after their South Africa International win earlier in 2018

The newly formed men’s doubles pair of Tarun Kona and Saurabh Sharma put up a stellar performance to win the IV Jamaica International 2018 held in Kingston, Jamaica on Sunday. The duo, seeded fourth at this International Series tournament, needed 33 minutes to prevail over the local pair of Gareth Henry and Samuel O’Brien Ricketts 21-17, 21-17 in the summit clash.

This was the second career title for the pair, who joined forces only in November. In only their third tournament together, they won the South Africa International, stunning the top seeds Aatish Lubah and Georges Julien Paul in the final.

Kona and Sharma carried that good form into 2018 to reach the final of the Iran Fajr International Challenge, which was their second event of the new season. Kona lost to his former partner, Francis Alwin in a hard-fought match, where the duo of Alwin and Kidambi Nandagopal reigned supreme 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9.

The Jamaica International was their first tournament since that final loss in Iran. The two, who are placed at 108th in the latest world rankings, will go up further.

Giant-killer Aggarwal loses in semi-finals

They were the only Indians to make it to the final in Jamaica last week. In men’s singles, Harshit Aggarwal played brilliantly to reach the semi-finals, where his run came to an end at the hands of Canadian qualifier Xiaodong Sheng 24-26, 21-19, 9-21.

The 21-year-old Aggarwal, ranked 269th, turned out to be a giant-killer. He accounted for the sixth seed Luka Wraber 16-21, 23-21, 22-20 in a highly competitive second round clash. In the quarter-finals, he upset the top seed Rosario Maddaloni 21-13, 21-18 before his campaign got halted the very next round.

Sahil Sipani was the other Indian in the men’s singles draw. The eighth seed bowed out to the second seed Jason Anthony Ho-Shue 9-21, 17-21 in the quarter-finals.