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Indian shuttlers shine at SAF Games
August 17, 2006 19:07 IST
Indian shuttlers stamped their regional supremacy and assured themselves nine medals at the 10th South Asian Games. In fact, they will be eyeing all the five gold medals up for grabs when the final matches are played at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo.
Indian players dominated the event right from the beginning and four out of the five summit clashes will be all-India affairs.
In the women's singles semi-final, Trupti Murgunde showed ominous form as she tamed local favourite Renu Chandrika de Silva 21-11, 21-10.
Trupti was throughout in control and she hardly broke a sweat in the first game. The second game followed more or less the same script and serving 14-9, Trupti raced to match point before her Lankan rival snatched a point.
It was merely an effort to delay the inevitable and Trupti smashed her way to the final where she meets compatriot B R Meenakshi.
Meenakshi beat Nepal's Sumina Shreshta 21-9, 21-4 in the other semi-final.
In the men's singles, Chetan Anand beat Pakistani Zeeshan Umer 21-10, 16-21, 21-7 to set up a title clash with fellow-Indian Nikhil Kanetkar, who edged out Pakistan's Wajid Ali Choudhary 21-10, 21-12 in the other semi-final.
In the men's doubles, the Indian duo of Rupesh Kumar and Thomas Sanave downed the Pakistani pair of Muhammad Atiq and Rizwan Azam, winning 21-7, 21-13, to reach the final, where they meet the Sri Lankan duo of Tushara Eidiresinghe and Duminda Jayakodywho, who overcame Zeeshan Umer and Zafar Tasneem of Pakistan 21-13, 16-21, 21-16 in the other semi-final.
The women's doubles final will also be an all-India affair with Aparna Balan and B R Meenakshi taking on Jwala Gutta and Sarah Kurien.
Aparna and Meenakshi downed local favourites Chandrika and Thilini Jayasinghe, while the Gutta-Sarah pair got the better of their Pakistani rivals Asma Butt and Uzma Butt.
In the first mixed doubles semi-finals, V Diju and Jwala Gutta beat the Pakistani pair of Waqar Ahmed and Saima Manzoor to sail into the final and will meet compatriots Thomas Kurien and Aparna Balan, who tamed the Sri Lankan duo of Tushar-Chandrika.