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Clean sweep by Indian shuttlers
April 05, 2004 20:21 IST
Indian shuttlers maintained their regional supremacy again, making a clean sweep of all seven gold medals on offer, along with five silver in the individual category, of the badminton tournament at the ninth SAF Games in Islamabad on Monday.
The concluding day of the badminton event looked like the final day of an Indian national championship as the summit clashes in all the five individual categories -- men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles -- were reduced to an all-India affair.
National champion Chetan Anand added another feather to his cap as he defeated top-ranked Indian Abhinn Shyam Gupta 15-8, 10-15, 15-13 in a closely-fought encounter.
Anand made an impressive start to his campaign, winning the opening game with relative ease but made some silly mistakes in the second to lose the initiative before regrouping himself to take the decider.
Trupti Murgunde made the most of the absence of national champion Aparna Popat and overcame a strong challenge from the experienced B R Meenakshi to win 9-11, 11-7, 13-10 and take the gold in the women's singles.
Murgunde, who took some time to settle down against her seasoned opponent, looked down and out when she was trailing 1-8 in the second game after losing the first. But she displayed some fine attacking skills to force her way back into the match.
The decider saw the pendulum oscillate from one end to other but the youngster kept her cool on important points to take the title.
In the mixed doubles, the top-seeded pair of Jaseel P Ismail and Jwala Gutta had no difficulty in disposing of Markose Bristow and Manjusha Kanwar 15-6, 15-3.
The top women's pair of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien had an easy outing against Fatima Nazneen and Manjusha Kanwar, winning 15-6, 15-3 to take the gold in the doubles.
In the men's doubles final, Rupesh Kumar and Markose Bristow got the better of Jaseel Ismail and JBS Vidyadhar, winning 15-8, 15-4 to complete the sweep.