India clean sweep

Kathmandu, June 21:

India finished perfect in the Bajaj Discover Nepal International Series 2008 Badminton Championship winning all five events today. Nepal avoided an embarrassment as Pooja Shrestha and Sara Devi Tamang combined to hand their nation a third-place finish.

Indian top-ranked Chetan Anand claimed the men’s singles championship with an easy 21-16, 21-17 win over his compatriot JBS Vishyadhar. Bibari Basumatary edged past Thilini Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka 22-20, 23-21 in a closely contested final to win the women’s singles title.

Akshay Diwalkar and V Diju bounded back from set down to beat the Pakistani duo Attique Mohammed and Rizwan Azam 19-21, 21-10, 21-12 to win the men’s double championship.

Jwala Gatta and Shruti Kurian, who ousted Nepal’s Pooja and Sara Devi in semi-finals, beat compatriot Anjali Kalita and P Jwotsana 21-6, 21-8 to win the women’s doubles title. Diju and Gatta also gave India the mixed doubles title with a 21-12, 21-15 win over compatriots Vidhyadhar and Kurian.

The winners in the singles event received $375, runners up got $200 and the third-placed shuttlers pocketed $100 each. Top three winners in the doubles events received $157, $75 and $50 respectively.

President of Nepal Olympic Committee Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan, vice-president of National Sports Council (NSC) Sitaram Maskey, NSC member Laxman Shrestha and president of Nepal Badminton Association Prakash Bahadur Shahi gave away the prizes.

Shuttlers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal took part in the four-day tournament. In all, 25 Nepali shuttlers — 15 men and 10 women — took part in the championship, organised by Nepal Badminton Association.