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Double delight for Aakarshi Kashyap at Krishna Khaitan Memorial Junior Ranking tournament

Chhattisgarh girl Aakarshi Kashyap clinches under-17 and under-19 crowns; Maharashtra’s Aman Farough wins boys title.

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh |
October 17, 2016 12:24:47 am
Aakarshi Kashyap, Aakarshi Kashyap badminton, india badminton, badminton india, express badminton, badminton news, badminton Aakarshi Kashyap during her final against Shikha Gautam on Sunday. (Source: Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Just after winning her girls’ singles U-19 final against top seed Shikha Gautam of Karnataka 22-20, 23-25, 21-15, Aakarshi Kashyap sauntered towards the outside of the badminton hall at the Panjab University and showed her mother Amita Kashyap a poster of Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu winning the same title in 2010.

“Mother, I also have won titles here and I dream to become like her winning an Olympic medal someday,” the 15-year-old would tell senior Kashyap moments after her twin title wins in the U-17 and U-19 girls singles finals on the concluding day of the 25th edition of Smt. Krishna Khaitan Memorial All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament.

Trailing 13-18 against Gautam in the opening game, Kashyap would show her stamina and long rally play to score five consecutive points to level 18-18 before winning the opening game 22-20. Had it not been some last moment errors in the second game, which saw her returning some shots wide and losing 23-25, Kashyap would have won the match in the second game.

With scores tied at 10-10 in the third game, as Gautam made a tough return through her legs, Kashyap covered the back court swiftly to make a drop shot to lead 11-10 at the break. Playing wide off the service line, Kashyap who initially started as a track athlete in 2007, would win seven consecutive points till 18-13 before winning the final game 21-15.

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“We all have been talking about PV Sindhu all these days in the earlier rounds and I wanted to win both the titles here. It was my sixth U-19 ranking tournament and I have won three titles in the last five. Shikha Di plays attacking and my focus was on long rallies and using close net shots. Back home, I don’t get to train against some of the top ranked players in India as only 15-20 players in Bhilai practice at the courts at Steel Plant. And playing in ranking tournaments like these give players like me chance to claim some vital ranking points too,” shared Kashyap, who started the sport in 2009 under coach Sanjay Mishra at Ravi Shankar Stadium, Durg.

A young Kashyap, whose father Sanjeev is a dermatologist, would often accompany her mother on a two wheeler to Bhilai Steel Plant’s two courts where she trained along with four players. Kashyap’s first major title would come at All India Ranking tournament at Sivakasi on August 24, 2014, same day as her birthday. The youngster then went on to claim the junior nationals title at Vishakhapatnam in November last year before winning five titles in U-17 All India Ranking Tournaments apart from three titles wins in U-19.

Kashyap’s crowning glory came last week when she won a bronze medal in the Asia Junior Championships at Kudus, Indonesia, where she lost to Chaisnee Korepup of Thailand in the semi-finals. “Initially I wanted to become an athlete and trained for two years before my father suggested me to take up badminton. We have only two badminton courts in Bhilai, which is 10 kms from our home and we would go daily to the steel plant.

Last week’s medal in Asian Championships meant that I can win against Asia’s best juniors and I am now looking forward to the World Junior Championships in Spain next month,” said Kashyap, who is currently ranked number one in U-17 rankings in India and defeated second seed Unnati Bisht of Uttarakhand 21-13, 21-15 in the girls U-17 final on Sunday.

With her studies continuing, the family has not planned to move her training base outside Chattisgarh. “It is difficult but we are training in Durg. She spent some days at the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bengaluru earlier this year and her focus is to win some international tournaments abroad in the coming year,” said her mother Amita.

It was also a first ranking title for fifth seed Aman Farough Sanjay of Maharashtra, who prevailed over 21-17, 22-20 over Rohan Gurbani of Maharahstra. The Thane based player, whose mother is an election officer, had earlier won three bronze medals in various categories in the U-17 ranking tournaments this year and was member of the Indian team which won the gold medal in Swiss Junior open last year.

“It is my first title win in the ranking tournaments and I am now eager to win the title in the upcoming junior nationals at Uduppi in December,” said the player who trains at Syed Modi Badminton Academy, Mumbai. In another finals, Mithun M of Air India won the title in the boys’ singles category with a 21-9, 21-10 win over Kanishq M while Krishna Prasad of Karnataka and Dhruv Kapila won the boys’ doubles U-19 final 21-5, 21-15 against Bodhit Joshi of Uttrakhand and Mithun M.

Punjab Governor and UT (Chandigarh) Administrator, VP Singh Badnore, gave away the prizes with chairman Express Group Viveck Goenka.

Results : Finals : Boys : Singles : U-17 : Aman Farogh Sanjay (5), MAH, bt Rohan Gurbani, MAH, 21-17 22-20; U-19 : Mithun M. (1), AI, bt Kanishq M. (4), AI, 21-9 21-10 ; Doubles : U-17 : Aman Raikwar and Yash Raikwar (5), MP, bt Qadeer Moinuddin Mohammed and Vishnuvardhan Goud P. (2), TS, 28-26 21-17; U-19 : Krishna Prasad G., AP, and Dhruv Kapila (2), PNB, bt Bodhit Joshi, UTR, and Mithun M. (1), AI, 21-5 21-11; Girls : Singles : U-17 : Aakarshi Kashyap (1), CG, bt Unnati Bisht (4), UTR, 21-13 21-15; U-19 : Aakarshi Kashyap (2), CG, bt Shikha Gautam (1), KTK, 22-20 23-25 21-15; Doubles : U-17 : Ashwini Bhat K. and Mithula U. K. (1), KTK, bt Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker (3), MAH, 21-18 21-14; U-19 : Mahima Aggarwal and Shikha Gautam (1), KTK, bt Ashwini Bhat K. and Mithula U. K. (2), KTK, 21-18 19-21 23-21; Mixed doubles : U-19 : Krishna Prasad G., AP, and Mahima Aggarwal (5), KTK, bt Dhruv Kapila, PNB, and Ritika Thaker, MAH, 10-21 21-12 21-13.

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