An exciting tournament

The Senior National Championships, which gets underway with the inter-state contests on Thursday, is the 70th edition of the senior championship and 61st of the inter-state meet. Bangalore is hosting the championship after four decades. It was last held here back in 1962. Incidetnally, it was Prakash Padukone's father, the late Ramesh Padukone, who was then the secretary of the Mysore Badminton Association. He played a lead role in conducting the championship in Bangalore. The 2005 championship is of great significance for local fans as Aparna Popat, will go for her record ninth straight title in the women's singles and Trupti Murgunde, who has now settled here is the top seed. A key player to watch in the women's singles will be local girl, B.R. Meenakshi. In the men's section, the local lad Anup Sridhar is the defending champion. He won the title last year at Jamshedpur and another Bangalorean, Aravind Bhat is the top seed in the men's singles and a top contender for the title. K.A.

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