Ashmita, Iman bows out, Rahul makes upset

GUWAHATI, Dec 17: Sixth seeded Rahul Bhardhvaj of Air India scored an upset victory over top seeded Arintap Dasgupta of West Bengal to breeze into the finals of under-19 boys’ singles competition of the 42nd Junior National Badminton Championships here at the Deshbhakta Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
Rahul started on a strong note and ran away with the opening 21-12 in no time. In the second game, Arintap did try to make a comeback but Rahul managed to stave him off and won the second game 21-17 to move into the finals and will face the winner of the match that will be played between Aryaman Tandon and Abhishek Saini.
In the boys’ under-17 category, fourth seeded Maisnam Meiraba of Manipur steamrolled Iman Sonowal of Assam 21-13, 21-19 to set the summit clash with Amit Rathore of Madhya Pradesh who stunned the top seeded Dhruv Rawat of Uttarakhand 21-13, 21-14.
Top seeded Akarshi Kashyap of Chhattisgarh posted a comfortable 21-12, 21-16 victory over Trisha Hedge of Karnataka to book a berth in the final of the under-17 girls’ singles category. She will take on second seeded Malvika Bansod of Maharashtra who beat Unnati Bisht of Uttarakhand 21-12, 21-13.
In the girls’ under-19 event, Akarshi qualified for the semifinals to stay on course for twin delight in the tournament after her opponent Aadya Variyath of Keral retired mid-way during the first game. She will face Malvika for a spot in the finals who beat Dipti Kuity of Gujarat 21-12,21-19. Seventh seeded Ira Sharma of Haryana pulled off an upset 21-15, 21-13 victory over second seeded Purva Barve of Air India to set up a last four meeting with Vaidehi Choudhari of Maharashtra. Vaidehi beat local favourite Ashmita Chaliha 23-21, 9-21, 21-19 in a grueling encounter.