Image: Northeast Now

Curtains came down on the seventh edition of Dorjee Khandu Memorial State Badminton Championship-2019 at the Raj Bhawan Badminton Stadium in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar on Wednesday evening.

Top seed Pinky Karki defeated her closest rival and number two seed Laa Yajum in straight sets of 21-10 and 21-18 to clinch the women’s singles title and win gold in Championship.

Also read: Arunachal sets stage for state open badminton tourney

Though Pinky who represented the Arunachal State Badminton Association (ASBA) dominated the first set and won it quite easily, Yajum, representing Kamle district gave her a tough fight in the second.

A few unforced errors by the number two proved to be the decider of the second set and the same helped Pinky take home gold for the second consecutive year.

Number three seed Tanai Yasap and number four ranked player Taring Yania won bronze in the category.

The men’s singles final saw number six seed Laa Tukum of Kamle face Nikhil Chettri in the finals.

Nikhil who had defeated number three seed player in the quarter finals and number 5 seed player in the semis was, however, no match for Tukum.

Tukum who trains at Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad thrashed Nikhil in straight sets of 21-8 and 21-6 to bag gold, the same which his elder brother Laa Talar had won for six consecutive years from 2012 to 2018.

The bronze in the men’s singles went to Charu Jaji and David Ngomle.

The men’s doubles saw top seed pair of Akshay Raito and Raja Gupta, representing ASBA retain their crown as they defeated the number 2 seed pair of Rahul Thapa and Charu Jaji.

The match that stretched to the third set saw Akshay and Raja come out victorious with a score of 21-19, 17-21 and 21-18 and win gold.

The pairs of Asif Khan and Bikom Boje and Kenjom Tacha and Raj Thapa had to settle for the bronze medal.

The mixed doubles finals saw Charu Jaji pair with Pinky Karki to defeat Kenjom Tacha and Taring Yania to win gold while the bronze medal was shared among Rahul Thapa and his partner Tania Yasap and the pair of Biki Lakai and Laa Yajum.

In women’s doubles, Pinky paired with Yania to win the gold for the third consecutive year as they defeated Boni Yupu and Laa Yajum in the finals.

Leeta Mele and Nani Ankha representing Lohit district and Kapu Rumi and Tania Yasap of ASBA won bronze in the category.

The match of the day, however, was played in the U-11 boy’s singles category, where otherwise best friends, Samuel Tamang and Taku Manku faced each other in the finals.

The contest, which enthralled the audience the most, saw Samuel come out victorious and retain his number one rank as he defeated Taku in straight sets of 21-15 and 24-21.

In other results, Laa Tukum won gold by defeating Sonam Tamang (both of Kamle) in the U-19 boys singles finals.

The pair of Raj Thapa and Takio Puna won the U-19 mixed doubles crown as they defeated Pakli Bagra and Gunzan Gongo of Kurung Kumey who had to settle for silver.

The U-17 boy’s singles gold went to Nikhil Chetry who beat Robin Laa of Kamle in the finals.

Nikhil paired with Kirto Nyorak also won the U-17 men’s doubles gold as they defeated Iran Gamkak and Yai Gamkak of West Siang.

The girl’s singles crown in the U-17 category was won by Dolma Tamang who defeated Kenbi Riram.

Kenbi paired with Nisha Upadhyaya won the girls doubles gold after defeating Napi Tayam and Taku Neha in the finals.

In U-15 boys, Laa Robin of Kamle won gold by defeating Lobsang Sherdang of Tawang whereas Dai Weshi of East Kameng and Lobsang Choidrup of Tawang were the bronze medalists.

Choidrup and Sherdangm, however, paired up to win the U-15 boys doubles gold as they defeated Gejum Riram and Nima Tenzin of SLSA. Golab Chetia and Saurav Sonowal of Namsai and Dai Weshi and H S Taku East Kameng took the third spot and won bronze.

Dolma who had won gold in the U-17 girls singles repeated her feat in the U-15 category as well, as she defeated Taku Neha in the finals.

Matches were also played in the U-9 category in which Dindo Linggi of Lower Dibang Valley and Jesicca Saring won the boys and girls singles gold respectively.

Among others, Thursday’s final was graced by MLA Laisam Simai and Nyamar Karbak as special guests while ASBA secretary Bamang Tago, general secretary Nich Bapu and joint secretary Penya Bagra were also present.

A total of 332 shuttlers including 80 female and 243 male, from 23 districts of the state and those from the from the Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy and Capital Complex participated in the coveted tournament which was organized by ASBA under the aegis of the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs..

International badminton umpire from Manipur, H Gyaneswor, was the tournament referee.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com

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