KAKINADA: Host Andhra Pradesh clinched a grand double winning the boys’ and girls’ titles defeating Kerala (2-0) and Karnataka (2-0) respectively in the South Zone inter-State badminton championship at the District Sports Authority grounds here on Saturday.
In the men’s semifinals, Karnataka blanked Tamil Nadu 3-0.
Junior India shuttler Guru Sai Dutt (AP) exhibited a fine all-round display in dispatching Kerala’s Ram C. Vijay 21-9, 21-10 in the first singles of the boys’ final. Ram’s poor anticipation proved costly as he ended many crucial rallies by slamming the shuttle long.
Guru was brilliant at the net and skilfully mixed his drops and overhead smashes to perfection.
However, Kerala showed signs of recovery in the doubles, when Ram-Bennet duo unleashed quality court craft against Guru and K. Tarun in the second game. Down 1-0, Ram and Bennett brought parity in a long drawn second game winning 23-21.
The crucial final game witnessed change in the strategy in AP camp as both Tarun and Guru restrained themselves from rushing to the net and targeted Bennet with a flurry of smashes.
The 45-minute long encounter ended in favour the Guru-Tarun duo at 21-16.
Sikki Reddy won the first singles against Karnataka’s Ruth Misha 21-14, 21-18 and later along with J. Shruthi she won the hard-fought doubles tie against the more-experienced Nitya Sosale and G.M. Nischita 21-6, 21-23, 21-16.
National Chief Coach P. Gopichand and Olympian P.V.V. Lakshmi will witness the final day’s proceedings on Sunday.
Kakinada Badminton Association has organised a felicitation to Lakshmi.
Finals: Boys: AP bt Kerala 2-0 (Guru Sai Dutt bt Ram C. Vijay 21-9, 21-10; Guru / K. Tarun bt Ram / Bennet Antony 21-18, 21-23, 21-16).
Girls: AP bt Karnataka 2-0 (Sikki Reddy bt Ruth Misha 21-14, 21-18; Sikki / J. Shruthi bt Nitya Sosale/ G.M. Nischita 21-6, 21-23, 21-16).
Men: Semifinals: Karnakata bt Tamil Nadu 3-0 (Amar bt Siddhartha Jain 21-16, 15-21, 21-17; S.D.S. Krishna bt Jerry Martin 21-13, 18-21, 21-14; Guru Prasad/ Ajit Wijitilak bt Siddhartha Jain / N. Venkatesh 21-13, 22-20).