Down 16-20 in the deciding game, Kerala’s Arun George scripted a dream comeback to save six match-points and stunned top-seeded defending champion Harsheel Dani for a place in the boys’ (under-19) final of the National junior badminton championship here on Wednesday.
Arun, seeded three, battled to a 17-21, 21-16, 25-23 victory after converting his second match-point in the 43-minute thriller. In the final, Arun faces second seed and last year’s runner-up Aditya Joshi who also needed three games to stop fourth seed Arshalan Naqvi.
Defending champion G. Ruthvika Shivani reached the title-clashes of the under-17 and under-19 sections.
In a repeat result of last year’s under-17 final, third seed, Ruthvika upstaged second seed Reshma Karthik in the semifinal of under-19 section.
The under-17 title-clash will be a repeat clash of last year’s under-19 final, with second seed Ruthvika facing top seed Rituparna Das.
The results (semifinals, prefix denotes seeding):
Boys (under-19): 3-Arun George (Ker) bt 1-Harsheel Dani (AI) 17-21, 21-16, 25-23; 2-Aditya Joshi (AI) bt 4-Arshalan Naqvi (UP) 11-21, 21-12, 21-16.
Boys (under-17): 1-Daniel Farid (Kar) bt 6-M. Kanishq (AP) 21-19, 18-21, 21-18; 9-B. R. Sankeerth (Kar) bt 3-Chirag Sen (AI) 14-21, 21-15, 21-12.
Girls (under-19): 1-Rituparna Das (AP) bt beat 4-Rasika Raje (Mah) 21-12, 21-13; 3-G. Ruthvika Shivani (AP) bt 2-Reshma Karthik (AI) 21-9, 21-13.
Girls (under-17): 1-Karishma Wadkar (Mah) bt 8-Shikha Gautam (Kar) 21-11, 22-20; 2-G. Ruthvika Shivani (AP) bt Mrunmayi Saoji (Mah) 21-7, 21-13.
Mixed doubles (under-19): 1-Sanyam Shukla (AI) and J. Meghana (AP) bt Chandrabhushan Tripathi (UP) and Anushka Kuvelkar (Goa) 21-5, 21-16; B. R. Sankeerth and Mira Mahadevan (Kar) bt Kabir Kanzarkar and Ahillya Harjani (Mah) 19-21, 21-17, 21-14.