Telangana’s M Tharun and Haryana’s Anupama Upadhayaya registered contrasting victories to clinch the men’s and women’s singles badminton titles at the 2023 National Games on Tuesday.
In the men’s singles final, Tharun overpowered the experienced Sourabh Varma 21-15, 16-21, 21-15 in an hour and 10 minutes to bag his first National Games gold. Later, national champion Anupama Upadhyaya underlined her domination on the domestic circuit beating Uttarakhand’s Aditi Bhatt 21-13, 21-18.
Karnataka clinched the men and women doubles crowns on the final day of badminton action to put the state on the top of medal standings with three gold and two bronze medals from the event.
Women’s doubles top seeds Shikha Gautam and Ashwini Bhat defeated Maharashtra’s Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi 21-11, 21-18 while the combination of HV Sunil and K Pruthvi Roy upset top seeds Hariharan Amsakarunan and R Ruban Kumar of Tamil Nadu 15-21, 21-18, 21-18 in the men’s doubles final.
Andhra Pradesh’s duo of Gouse Shaikh and D Pooja bagged the remaining gold on offer in mixed doubles with a 21-8, 21-17 victory over top seeds Navaneeth Bokka and K Maneesha.
Tharun, who had upset second seed and national champion M Mithun in the semi-final, adopted an aggressive approach from the opening game itself and went for his big smashes. That game plan worked as he opened up a lead 12-8 lead. Varma did manage to close the gap at 16-15, but Tharun bagged the next five points to close the game.
The experienced Varma then changed strategy and began engaging his opponent in flatter rallies. This allowed him to take control of the proceedings and force a decider. However, Tharun was prepared for this gameplan in the final game and changed ends leading 11-5.
Knowing that his senior opponent was under pressure, Tharun stuck to his aggressive approach and induced errors from Varma to win the title.
“My plan was simply to play to my strength and keep pressure on Sourabh. I am happy that it worked perfectly today,” said Tharun after the match.
Haryana vs Kerala in netball
Elsewhere, defending champions Haryana reached the finals of the men’s netball competition with a hard fought 60-58 victory over Delhi.
Haryana started strong opening up a five-point lead in the first quarter and maintained the same at half time. But Delhi changed gears after half-time, intercepting the balls aggressively but fell short by two points.
In the final, they will take on Kerala, who defeated Jammu and Kashmir 59-41.
Contrasting basketball results for Tamil Nadu
In Navelim, Services Sports Control Board and Tamil Nadu sealed their spot in the men’s basketball 5x5 semi-final from Pool B after winning both their matches. In the morning session, Services defeated Rajasthan 81-60 while Tamil Nadu got the better of Kerala 82-46.
In the women’s section, Maharashtra kept their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals with a 77-48 victory over Delhi in Pool B. They had lost to Tamil Nadu in their opening match on Monday. In the sessions other match, Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu 69-51.
Men’s Singles: 4-M Tharun (Tel) bt Sourabh Varma (MP) 21-15, 16-21, 21-15
Men’s Doubles: HV Nithin/K Pruthvi Roy (Kar) bt 2-Hariharan Amsakarunan/R Ruban Kumar 15-21, 21-18, 21-18
Women’s Singles: 4-Anupama Upadhayaya (Har) bt Aditi Bhatt (Utr) 21-13, 21-18
Women’s Doubles: 1-Shikha Gautam/Ashwini Bhat (Kar) bt Ritika Thaker/Simran Singhi (Mah) 21-11, 21-18
Mixed Doubles: Gouse Shaikh/D Pooja (AP) bt 1-Navaneeth Bokka/K Maneesha (Tel) 21-8, 21-17.
Pool A: Punjab bt Delhi 104-70; Goa bt Telangana 86-56
Pool B: Tamil Nadu bt Kerala 82-46; Services bt Rajasthan 81-60
Pool A: Kerala bt Uttar Pradesh 78-37;
Pool B: Maharashtra bt Delhi 77-48; Karnataka bt Tamil Nadu 69-51
Men (Semi-finals): Haryana bt Delhi 60-58; Kerala bt Jammu and Kashmir 59-41