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Sindhu, Srikanth win national badminton titles

New Delhi, Dec 23 : Second seed P.V. Sindhu regained the title she had lost last year by coming out on top against Rituparna Das while Kidambi Srikanth won his inaugural crown at the 78th Senior National Badminton Championships at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here Monday.


The World Championship bronze medallist Sindhu, playing in her third consecutive women's singles final, was eager to win here after losing in the summit clash last year to Pune's Sayali Gokhale.

In one year, the 18-year-old, having taken huge strides in the international field, has become a towering personality in the domestic circuit and easily dominated the tournament, winning the final 21-11, 21-17 in half an hour against the junior national champion to claim her second national title in three years.

"I feel great. This is my second senior national title. This year was really good and I can go into next year with confidence. The first game was easy but in the second game she was leading 11-7. But I played well and recovered in time," said Sindhu, who took home Rs.80,000 for the triumph.

Srikanth, on the other hand, made a huge leap by winning the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold earlier this year and looked full of confidence in his final against second seed R.M.V. Gurusaidutt. The latter was suffering with a back problem and could not really live up to his potential and handed fifth seed Srikanth a 21-13, 22-20 victory in 40 minutes.

"I was tensed before the match but I am really happy after winning. I feel really good -- it is a matter of pride to win the nationals. I have been training for this for a month and it has paid off well," said Srikanth, whose previous best in the tournament was a semifinal appearance in 2012.

Former World Championship bronze medal winning pair Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, who recombined their partnership only a few months back, clinched their second women's doubles crown together after winning the first time in 2009.

Top seeds N. Siki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre tried their best but were no match for the Commonwealth Games gold medallists, losing 17-21, 16-21 in 34 minutes.

However, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar had sweet revenge in the men's doubles final after losing to B. Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri in last year's final in Srinagar. But Monday was their day as the top seeds won the crown for the first time 21-19, 21-17 in 39 minutes.

Second seeds Aparna Balan and Arun Vishnu continued their dominance in their field by winning their third consecutive mixed doubles title by drubbing regular internationals and top seeds Ashwini and Tarun Kona in the second successive national final.

The Calicut combine caused the upset in the shortest match of the day winning 21-10, 21-17 in 29 minutes.

--IANS (Posted on 23-12-2013)

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