There’s a sparkling new bunch in Tamil Nadu badminton with promising names like Sankar Muthusamy, Shreya Balaji and N. Srinidhi. This group helped Tamil Nadu win its maiden junior mixed team title in the Yonex Sunrise South Zone inter-State badminton championships at the St. Peter’s Sports Academy here on Tuesday night.
Sankar, the junior World No. 3, opened the tie with an effortless victory over T.S. Harshan as TN defeated Andhra Pradesh 3-1. A little later, Karnataka brushed aside Andhra Pradesh 3-0 to regain the senior team title some five years.
“We’ve not had such a talented bunch in a very long time. And we expected to win this time because we have three players — Sankar, Shreya and Srinidhi — who will be playing the junior World championships this year,” said TN coach Arvindan Swamiappan who also coaches Sankar.
Even the injury to Rakshitha Sree, which forced her to retire midway through the third game in the women’s singles, did not hurt TN badly as the boys and girls doubles pairs rose to the occasion nicely.
With Andhra’s Surya Charishma Tamiri playing in both the junior and senior finals, Karnataka’s job was made easier in the senior trophy-decider.
The results (mixed team event) Seniors: Final: Karnataka bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0 (D.S. Saneeth bt Sai Charan Koya 21-17, 21-18; Drithi Yatheesh bt Surya Charishma Tamiri 21-14, 14-21, 21-18; H.V. Nithin & K. Sai Pratheek bt D. Chandra Kumar & Varaprasad Kanakala 22-20, 21-18). Semifinal: Karnataka bt Tamil Nadu 3-2.
Juniors: Final: Tamil Nadu bt Andhra Pradesh 3-1 (Sankar Muthusamy bt T.S. Harshan 21-7, 21-3; S. Rakshitha Sree lost to Surya Charishma Tamiri 19-21, 21-10, 8-13 (retd, injury); Dev Ayyappan & Dhiren Ayyappan bt Bhargav Ram Arigela & Viswa Tej Gobburu 21-15, 21-12; Shreya Balaji & N. Srinidhi bt Akanksha Matte & Rashmitha Donepudi 21-14, 21-18).
Semifinals: Andhra Pradesh bt Telangana 3-0, TN bt Karnataka 3-0.