Despite playing two singles finals within the space of four hours, A.S.S. Siril Varma and Shriyanshi Pardeshi stayed strong and won a double each in the 11th United India Insurance-RSC National-ranking junior badminton tournament at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium here on Sunday evening.
Andhra Pradesh’s 15-year-old Siril, who has spent more than half his life at the Gopichand Academy, staved off a strong challenge from Asian under-17 bronze medallist Daniel S. Farid for the under-19 title. Fifth-seeded Siril had upset his second-seeded teammate M. Kanishq for the under-17 crown.
Madhya Pradesh’s 16-year-old Shriyanshi shocked top seeds — Karnataka’s Reshma Karthik (under-19) and Shikha Gautam (under-17) — in both the finals for a maiden double in a national-ranking tournament.
The under-19 boys’ final was a thriller and Siril, who has a lovely jump smash, clawed back from 7-10 and 10-13 to prevail over Daniel, the under-17 national champion from Bangalore’s Prakash Padukone Academy.
“I’ve played 15 matches in the last three days and my body was aching, that distracted me towards the end of the match,” said Siril. In the junior girls’ final, top-seeded Reshma was down 2-15 in the opening game against third-seeded Shriyanshi. “There was huge drift on one side of the court,” she explained later.
But Reshma charged back and seemed to have the title in her grasp when she led 14-11 in the decider but the younger Shriyanshi, who engaged the top seed in long rallies in an effort to wear her out, levelled at 15 and 17 before taking the trophy. It was Shriyanshi’s first victory in three attempts over Reshma.
The results: Finals (prefix denotes seeding): Boys: U-19: 8-A.S.S. Siril Varma (AP) bt 7-Daniel S. Farid (Kar) 21-17, 18-21, 21-16. Doubles: 1-M.R. Arjun (Ker) & Chirag Shetty (Mah) bt 3-Vighnesh Devlekar (Mah) & V. Gangadhara Rao (AP) 21-15, 21-14.
U-17: 5-A.S.S. Siril Varma (AP) bt 2-M. Kanishq (AP) 21-19, 12-21, 21-19. Doubles: 1-G. Krishna Prasad & R. Satwik Sai Raj (AP) bt 6-D. Chandra Kumar (AP) & Brijesh Yadav (UP) 21-18, 21-14.
Girls: U-19: 3-Shriyanshi Pardeshi (MP) bt 1-Reshma Karthik (AI) 21-8, 15-21, 21-19. Doubles: 3-D. Pooja (AP) & Ningshi Block Hazarika (Asm) bt 5-Anuksha Kuvelkar (Goa) & Anouksha Parikh (Guj) 22-20, 11-21, 21-13.
U-17: 2-Shriyanshi Pardeshi (MP) bt 1-Shikha Gautam (Kar) 21-16, 21-11. Doubles: 1-Mahima Aggarwal & Shikha Gautam (Kar) bt 2-Kukoo Garg (Utr) & V. Harika (AI) 21-17, 21-16.
Mixed doubles: U-19: 1-M.R. Arjun & Ashna Roy (Ker) bt 5-Saurabh Sharma (Har) & Ningshi Block Hazarika (Asm) 21-17, 21-19.