Pawar, Thulasi in men`s and women`s singles final

Colombo: Indian shuttlers Anand Pawar and P C Thulasi made it to the men`s and women`s singles finals of the Sri Lanka Open International Badminton Challenge here Saturday.

Second seed Pawar beat 16th seed local challenger Dinuka Karunaratna 21-12 15-21 21-11 in a 50-minute men`s singles semifinal contest. But top seed Prannoy lost to unseeded Hyun Il Lee of Korea 10-21 21-16 13-21 in another semifinal contest to dash the hopes of an all-Indian final contest tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, Pawar thrashed Denmark`s Christian Lind Thomsen 21-14 21-13 in a quarterfinal match that lasted 36 minutes. Prannoy had prevailed over compatriot Anup Sridhar, seeded 13th, with the latter retiring midway in the second game when he was trailing 13-21 4-13 in another quarterfinals match.

Meanwhile, sixth seeded Thulasi reached the final in women`s section after beating Thailand`s Supanida Katethong 21-13 21-8. Thulashi will take on fourth seed Jiayuan Chen of Singapore in the final.

Second seeded Indian pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy B defeated Chinese Taipei`s Hsuan Wen Chang and Shang Kai Lin 21-12 18-21 21-13 in a 55-minute clash to set up a summit clash with Singapore`s Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart.

In the mixed doubles competition, fourth seeded pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre will meet Indo-Malaysian combo of Prajakta Sawant and Vountus Indra Mawan.

While Akshay and Pradnya defeated compatriots Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan, seeded second, 30-28 21-11, Prajakta and Vountus brushed aside Singapore pair of Kean Hean Loh and Dellis Yuliana 21-10 21-9.

Sikki Reddy and Pradnya also set up a final fight against Thailand pair of Phataimas Muenwong and Kilasu Ostermeyer in the women`s doubles.

Sikki and Pradnya edged out another Thailand pair of Jongkonphan Kittiharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 22-24 21-17 21-18 in a semifinal match that lasted for 54 minutes.

However, it was curtains for Aditya Prakash as he fought hard before going down 21-13 15-21 18-21 to Karunaratna in a 55-minute match.

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