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Andhra Pradesh men keep title

Principal Correspondent

Photo: G. Moorthy

CHAMPION STUFF:Andhra Pradesh blanked Tamil Nadu to retain the men's title.

SIVAKASI: Andhra Pradesh retained the Rahimtoola Cup for men while Kerala regained the Chadha Cup for women in the 66th South Zone inter-State badminton championship, organised by the Virudhunagar District Badminton Association, at A.J. Stadium here on Sunday.

It was AP's third title here after it had defended the boys' and girls' crowns on Saturday.

Flying start

In the men's final, AP blanked Tamil Nadu 3-0. K. Nanda Gopal gave AP the lead beating Siddharth Jain 21-19, 21-12. In a keenly-contested first game, Nanda Gopal managed to open up a 16-12 lead. Siddharth drew level through some delicate net play. But the AP player kept his cool on the big points to clinch the game.

The second game was a no contest as Nanda Gopal raced to a 11-4 lead and extended it to 18-10 before closing it at 21-12.

B. Sai Praneeth widened AP's lead with a 21-13, 21-15 victory over Aditya Elango. Praneeth held the upperhand right from the start, thanks to his accurate placements. After winning the first game easily, the AP youngster continued in the same vein in the second.

Aditya came up with some with acrobatic returns, but his opponent proved too good in the end.

Nanda Gopal and Praneeth scripted a 21-19, 21-9 win over S. Subramanian and Velavan in the doubles encounter to help AP retain the men's title.

In the women's final, Kerala dethroned AP. P.C. Tulasi gave Kerala a flying start beating K. Maneesha 21-15, 21-12. Tulasi deceived her opponent on many occasions with a clever mix of shots. She took a 16-7 lead and soon clinched the first game.

Tulasi continued the good show in the second game and hardly gave any chance for Maneesha to stage a comeback.

Tulasi later teamed up with Daya Elsa Jacob to defeat G.R. Shivani and Maneesha 21-16, 21-16.

The results (all finals):

Men: AP bt TN 3-0 (K. Nanda Gopal bt Siddharth Jain 21-19, 21-12; B. Sai Praneeth bt Aditya Elango 21-13, 21-15; B. Sai Praneeth & K. Nanda Gopal bt S. Subramanian & Velavan 21-19, 21-9).

Women: Kerala bt AP 2-0 (P.C. Tulasi bt K. Maneesha 21-15, 21-12; Daya Elsa Jacob & P.C. Tulasi bt G.R. Shivani & K. Maneesha 21-16, 21-16) .

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