Gopichand Academy trainees Ruthvika, Vrushali emerge champions

Mumbai: Gopichand Academy trainees Ruthvika Shivani Gadde and Vrushali Gummadi stamped their class in the 3rd Gautam Thakkar Memorial All India Junior Badminton Tournament by overcoming higher-ranked rivals to clinch the under-19 and under-17 girls singles titles, respectively here Sunday.

10th seed Ruthvika, who shocked top seed Reshma Karthik of Air India in the semi-finals yesterday, proved that her win was no flash in the pan when she outplayed fourth seed Shikha Gautam of Karnataka 21-15 21-8 in the under-19 girls singles final at the Bombay Gymkhana courts.

The 16-year-old 12th standard student of Jubilee Hills Public School, Hyderabad, showed excellent touch and totally dominated the contest after some initial sign of defiance by her rival.

In the first game the scores went level-pegging till 14-all and 15-14 in favour of Ruthvika, who then won five successive points to hold game point at 20-14.

Reshma managed to save one, before Ruthvika closed out the game winning the next point. The second game was a one-sided affair as Ruthvika hardly put a foot wrong before wrapping up the game and match in 30 minutes.

Later Vrushali, another Gopichand Academy girl from Andhra, emerged triumphant. The third seed Vrushali clinched the girls` under-17 singles title.

The 16-year-old Vrushali toppled Air India`s top seed Shriyanshi Pardeshi in straight games in the final.

The class XII student of DAV Public School, Hyderabad, who had defeated second seed Shikha in the semi-finals yesterday, did well to stay ahead of her opponent in both games before sealing a 21-18 21-17 victory.

In the boys` under-17 singles final, which was an all-Andhra affair, third seed Rahul Yadav tamed second seed Kanishq M, winning 21-13, 21-6.

In a closely fought girls` under-19 doubles final, Karnataka`s unseeded pair of Mahima Aggarwal and Shikha Gautam got the better of the sixth seeded combination of Sudha Kalyani D of Andhra Pradesh and Riya Mookerjee of Uttar Pradesh 21-19 21-18.

Top seeds Krishna Prasad G and Satwik Sai Raj R of Andhra Pradesh won the boys under-17 doubles title defeating third seeds Kartikey Gulshan Kumar of Delhi and Bodhit Joshi of Uttarakhand 21-16 13-21 21-16 in the final.

The Andhra pair of Krishna and Satwik later completed a double by winning the boys under-19 doubles title. They overcame third seeds Vighnesh Devlekar of Maharashtra and Gangadhara Rao V of AP 22-20 22-20.

The under-19 mixed doubles final was a long-drawn affair with the Maharashtra duo of Vighnesh Devlekar and Vaishnavi Iyer dropping the opening game before defeating Satwik Sai Raj R of AP and Ahillya Harjani of Maharashtra 18-21 29-27 21-19.

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