It can be attributed directly to the Saina phenomenon. For clearly inspired by the 20-year champion Saina Nehwal's achievements at the highest level, there are many who have taken up the sport with all seriousness across the State, and in the city in particular.
And, it was a gentle reminder why Andhra Pradesh continues to be the cradle of badminton talent in India. For when the Sub-junior nationals were held at Saroornagar Indoor Stadium last week-end, it was players from the State who shuttled away to glory – winning three of the four singles titles at stake. And besides this wonderful haul, the AP shuttlers also clinched honours in the three doubles categories too.
Well, it should not surprise many when P. V. Sindhu, daughter of former volleyball international and a quarter-finalist in the recent junior World championship, hogged the limelight by effortlessly re-asserting her supremacy winning the girls under-16 singles and doubles title (partnering K. Maneesha). Using her reach and intelligence, Sindhu was clearly the big star of the meet by virtue of being a regular in most of the Indian camps at Pullela Gopichand and also having already several national titles.
And the young V. Harika was not far behind completing a fine ‘double winning the girls under-13 singles and doubles titles. This young girl threw enough hints of the game she has and that she means business in the days to come.
“Yes, one day I want to become a Saina,” insists a shy Harika, apparently hinting that she wants to go to places.
Clearly, the host could not have expected a better display than this from the local players as not far behind was another talented second-seeded C. Rahul Yadav who won the boys under-13 singles and doubles titles.
Results: All finals: Under-13: Girls: V. Harika (AP) bt R. Santoshi Hasini (AP) 21-15, 19-21, 21-14.
Boys: C. Rahul Yadav (AP) bt Chirag Sen (Utr) 21-15, 21-16.
Girls: Under-16: P. V. Sindhu (AP) bt G. Ruthvika Shivani (AP) 21-13, 21-17.
Boys: Aditya Joshi (MP) bt Shreyansh Jaiswal (CG) 21-19, 16-21, 21-9.
Doubles: Under-13: Girls: G. Vrushali & V. Harika (AP) bt Upasana Borgohain & Ashmita Chaliha (Asm) 21-8, 21-9.
Boys: C. Rahul Yadav & Chirag Sen (AP/Utr) bt Bodhit Joshi & Lakshya Sen (Utr) 21-15, 28-26.
V. V. Subrahmanyam
When the sub-junior nationals were held at Saroornagar indoor stadium last weekend, players from the State won three of the four singles titles at stake