Shillong : Rising star Ruthvika Shivani created the biggest upset stunning P V Sindhu in straight sets to win the women’s singles gold, as India bagged a maximum seven gold, five silver to conclude their campaign in badminton in the 12th South Asian Games here today.
Ruthvika, who clinched the Senior Nationals at her home town Vijaywada in February last year, secured the biggest win of her budding career when she bounced back from a 8-11 deficit to win 21-11 22-20 in 36 minutes.
Ranked 131 BWF World Rankings, Shivani aim is to break into top 5 but for that it’s a long and gruelling road ahead.
Famed women’s duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa overcame some early hiccups against N Sikki Reddy and Maneesha Kukapalli before winning 21-9 21-17
The inexperienced Indian pair levelled 6-6 in the first game with the left-handed Jwala struggling to retun but the star shuttler soon came on to her own in front of a packed crowd to wrap the first game.
The second game went down the wire as Sikki Reddy and Maneesha made it 17-18 from being 9-16 before Jwala and Ponappa settled it without further suprise.
Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Atri clinched the men’s doubles with a 21-18 21-17 win over Akshay Dewalkar and Pranav Jerry Chopra who had to be content with silver.
K Shrikant emerged the men’s singles champion as he came back from a set behind to pip H S Prannoy 11-21 21-14 21-6 in a thrilling summit clash.
Jerry Chopra and Sikki Reddy won the mixed pair gold, a seventh for India, after overcoming a strong challenge from Atri and Ashwini 30-29 21-17 in another exciting battle in the concluding match of badminton at the SAI Complex in North East Hill University on the outskirts here.
India thus grabbed all the seven gold medals on offer besides winning five more silver to wrap up their badminton event.
Earlier, the shuttlers made it an all-Indian affair in the individual, doubles and mixed pair events of men’s and women’s sections after getting past their respective opponents.
Such was the domination that only HS Prannoy in the men’s singles and the women’s duo of Maneesha Kukapalli-N Sikki Reddy dropped one game each before making their respective finals.
The famed doubles duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lived up to their reputation to thrash Pakistan pair of Khizna and Sidra 21-9 21-3 in the other women’s doubles semis.
Rising 18-year-old Vijaywada shuttler blown away Nangsal Tamang of Nepal 21-5 21-5 to set up an expected final clash against Sindhu who got the better of Kavindi Ishandika Sirimannage of Sri Lanka 21-5 21-16.
In the men’s singles semis, K Shrikant prevailed over Pakistan’s Muhammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti 21-12 21-12 to book a final date with Prannoy who came back from 14-21 behind to win 21-13 21-16 against Sachin Dias of Sri Lanka.
Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Atri defeated Buwenaka Goonathileka-Dias 21-17 21-13, while Akshay Dewalkar-Pranav Jerry Chopra pipped Pakstian duo of Kushif Sulhari-Rizwan Azam 24-22 21-16.
The Indian mixed pair Ashwini-Atri beat Goonathileka-Kavindi 21-17 21-14, while Pranav and Sikki Reddy hammered Imesh Hasaranga-Achini Rathnasiri of Sri Lanka 21-16 21-10.
Courtesy : PTI