PSPB retain national badminton titles

New Delhi, Dec 19: The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) successfully defended the men’s and women’s team competition titles at the National Badminton Championships here Thursday.

The PSPB men triumphed 3-1 against Air India to take home the Rahimtoola Cup while PSPB women made short work of Air India to lift the Chadha Cup 2-0 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

In men’s competition on Court No.1, the first two matches went in favour of PSPB as former national champion Sourabh Verma took only 29 minutes to win 21-13, 21-12 against Mumbai’s Anand Pawar while Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold winner Kidambi Srikanth had a tough outing but still managed to win 21-19, 21-16 against Aditya Joshi to give his team a 2-0 lead.

But Akshay Dewalkar and Sanyam Shukla pulled one back for Air India in the doubles tie against Tarun Kona and Pranaav Jerry Chopra 24-22, 21-16 to keep themselves alive in the tie.

However, PSPB’s R.M.V. Gurusaidutt made sure that he finished off the tie 3-1 in favour of PSPB by defeating Harsheel Dani 21-19, 21-15 in 32 minutes to help his team win the title.

In women’s competition on Court No.3, PSPB women romped home much quicker than the men. World No.11 P.V. Sindhu had sweet revenge as she took a little more than half an hour to beat reigning national champion Sayali Gokhale 21-16, 21-17.

The two had met in the final of the individual championships last year where Gokhale had the last laugh. They are likely to meet again in the individual event which begins Friday.

In the doubles tie, 2011 World Championship bronze medallists Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa hardly broke sweat to easily overcome Sanyogita Ghorpade and Saili Rane to lift the Chadha Cup 2-0 for PSPB.

The individual championships begin Friday.

Final team results:

Rahimtoola Cup for men: PSPB beat Air India 3-1 (Sourabh Varma bt Anand Pawar 21-13, 21-12, Kidambi Srikanth bt Aditya Joshi 21-19, 21-16, Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Tarun Kona lost to Akshay Dewalkar/Sanyam Shukla 22-24, 16-21; Gurusaidutt R.M.V. bt Harsheel Dani 21-19, 21-15).

Chadha Cup for women: PSPB bt Air India 2-0 (P.V. Sindhu bt Sayali Gokhale 21-16, 21-17; Ashwini Ponnappa/Jwala Gutta beat Sanyogita Ghorpade/Saili Rane 21-12, 21-12).

IANS