The young brigade of Airports Authority of India stretched the mighty Petroleum in the men’s semifinals and knocked out last year’s runner-up Air India in the ladies section in the inter-state competitions of the National badminton championship here on Friday.
Little-known Rohit Yadav surprisingly took a game off Olympic Games quarterfinalist P. Kashyap before Manu Attree and Sumeeth Reddy shocked the fancied duo of Tarun Kona and Akshay Dewalkar, but AAI could not prevent Petroleum from walking away with a 3-1 verdict.
For the title, Petroleum will once again face Air India that overpowered Assam 3-1. For the ladies crown, Petroleum meets AAI which packed off runner-up Air India 2-0.
Earlier, riding on a stunning first-ever triumph of 17-year-old Pratul Joshi over former National champion Arvind Bhat, Air India pulled-off a 3-0 win against Karnataka.
The results (Team championship): Men: Semifinals: Petroleum bt Airports Authority of India 3-1 (P. Kashyap bt C. Rohit Yadav 16-21, 21-10, 21-8; Sourabh Verma bt K. Nandagopal 21-5, 21-17; Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu lost to Manu Attree and Sumeeth Reddy 17-21, 21-14, 14-21; B. Sai Praneeth bt Sumeeth Reddy 4-3 retired).
Air India bt Assam 3-1 (Pratul Joshi lost to Hirak Jyoti Neog 17-21, 12-21; G. Gopiraju bt Anjan Buragohain 19-21, 21-19, 21-14; Akshay Dewalkar and Anand Pawar bt Dibyajyoti Borah and Neog 21-12, 20-22, 21-18; Jishnu Sanyal bt Nikhilesh Sarma 21-11, 17-21, 21-19).
Quarterfinals: Petroleum bt Haryana 3-0; AAI bt Uttar Pradesh 3-0; Assam bt Chhatisgarh 3-2; Air India bt Karnataka 3-0 (Pratul Joshi bt Arvind Bhat 21-11, 15-21, 21-14; Anand Pawar bt Anup Sridhar 21-17, 16-21, 21-12; Pawar and Akshay Dewalkar bt Vineeth Manuel and Adarsh Kumar 17-21, 26-24, 22-20).
Women: Semifinals: Petroleum bt Assam (P.C. Thulasi bt Kaberi Phukan 21-11, 21-8; Ashwini Ponappa and Prajakta Sawant bt Kaberi and Abantika Deka 21-15, 21-9).
Airports Authority of India (AAI) bt Air India (Neha Pandit bt Sayali Gokhale 21-15, 21-10; Pradnya Gadre and N. Sikki Reddy bt Saili Rane and Tanvi Lad 21-17, 21-16).
Quarterfinals: Petroleum bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0; Assam bt West Bengal 2-1; AAI bt Delhi 2-0 (Neha Pandit bt Nidhi Tiwari 21-12, 21-12; N. Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre bt Shreya Agrawal and Nidhi 21-12, 21-12). Air India bt Maharashtra 2-0.