Lakshya, Ramchandran-Pardeshi guide AAI to title at 74th Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton
Asian Junior Champion Lakshya Sen along with mixed doubles pair of Shlok Ramchandran and Shriyanshi Pardeshi put up a brilliant show to guide the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to its seventh Inter State-Inter Zonal Badminton Championships title here Monday. AAI registered a narrow 3-2 win over Railways in a thrilling final of the Yonex-Sunrise 74th edition of the tournament.
The 17-year-old Lakshya battled for 55 minutes before he could subdue Subhankar Dey 21-17 21-17 in the men's singles clash to start off AAI's challenge with a bang. In a face-off between two rising women's singles stars of the country, Aakarshi Kashyap notched up a sublime 21-12 21-14 win over Railways' Anura Prabhudesai to hand AAI a 2-0 lead.
Just when it looked like AAI was cruising to victory, the Railways put up an incredible fightback. The men's doubles pair of Kabir Kanzarkar and Hemanagendra Babu held their nerves to eke out a tight 21-18 17-21 21-18 win over Shlok Ramchandran and Chirag Sen.
In women's doubles, Riya Mookerjee and Anura Prabhudesai rose to the occasion with a commanding 21-8 21-8 triumph over Pardeshi and Sneha Santhilal. Pardeshi soon managed to brush aside that setback and joined forces with Ramchandran to get a 21-9 17-21 21-8 win over Kanika Kanwal and Akshay Raut and fetch the vital deciding point for AAI.
The winners were awarded prize money of Rs 3.5 lakhs and the runners-up Rs 2.5 lakhs. The third and the fourth-placed teams got Rs 2 lakh each for their performances at the Inter-Zonals.
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