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Indian shuttlers rule the roost in SAF Games

February 04, 2010 18:46 IST

Indian shuttlers bagged five gold and five silver medals today to end their campaign on a high in the 11th South Asian Games in Dhaka.

Having made it an all Indian issue in the open category, Indian shuttlers completed the formalities at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium courts to return home with a rich haul of seven gold and five silver.

Earlier, Indian men's and women's sides led by national champion duo of Chetan Anand and Trupti Murgunde had bagged the top honours in the team events.

With this recognition, they improved on their previous SAF Games (Colombo) finish where they missed a silver medal in the mixed doubles category.

Living up to their billings, Chetan Anand (men's singles); Sayali Gokhale (women's singles); Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas (men's doubles); Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurien (women's doubles); and Valiyaveetil Diju and Ashwini Ponnappa (mixed doubles) clinched the gold medals in their respective categories.

Extremely happy with the result, Indian coach Dipankar Bhattacharjee said, "We have dominated through out the tournament and improved on our last SAF Games show in 2006. I am really happy for the side as it has helped them prepare for the upcoming Thomas Uber Cup and the All-England championship."

In the men's singles summit clash, Anand beat second seeded R M V Guru Sai Dutt 21-16, 21-8 in a 30 minute battle.

Sayali Gokhale took a 21-16 lead in the first game and in the second she was 8-3 up when second seeded Trupti developed sickness to concede the women's singles final that lasted 25 minutes.

In the men's doubles final, Rupesh and Thomas were declared winners after second seeded Anand-Valiyaveetil Diju retired after beaten in the first game 21-19 in a match that lasted 20 minutes.

The duo of Aparna Balan and Shruti Kurien beat second seeded P C Thulasi and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-19, 22-20 in 35 minutes in the women's doubles.

In the mixed doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Diju defeated their second seeded opponents Sanave Thomas and Aparna Balan 21-11, 21-15 in 26 minutes for the gold-silver decider.

Dinuka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka and Ahsan Qamar of Pakistan got the bronze medals in men's singles having made the semifinal exits.

In the men's doubles, Pakistan duo of Rizwan Azam and Kashif Sulehri; and Sri Lankan pair of Rajitha Dahanayaka and Hasitha Chanaka Manani Hewa got the bronze medals.

In the women's singles, Palwasha Bashir of Pakistan and Thilini Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka got the bronze medals.

In the mixed doubles, Rasel Kabir-Shapla Aktar (Bangladesh) and Niluka Karunaratne-Hettiarachchige (Sri Lanka) got the bronze medals.

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