India get off to flying start at South Asian Regional Badminton tournament

Indian shuttlers got off to a flying start and underlined their supremacy as they didn’t even break a sweat and defeated Nepal and Bhutan 5-0 each in their first and second tie of the day respectively, at the Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium on Monday, the inaugural day of the 1st South Asian Regional Badminton Tournament, hosted by Assam Badminton Association (ABA).

India’s first tie of the day saw Aryaman Tandon defeat Nepal’s Nabin Shreshtha 21-8, 18-21, 21-14 in the boys’ singles clash after a minor hiccup in the second game but regained control as the game went down to the wire. However, in the girls’ singles clash, the rising star of India Aakarshi Kashyap overcame the challenge from Rashila Maharjan in straight sets (21-5, 21-7) to make it 2-0 in the tie.

Next up were the robust pair of Arintap Das Gupta and Krishna Prasad taking on the might of Nabin Shreshtha and Dipesh Dhami. But the latter pair were shredded to pieces in the second game after a valiant fight in the first as the clash ended 21-18, 21-9. The same trend followed in the girls’ singles and mixed doubles clash as Ashmita Chaliha/ Mithulu UK and Krishna Prasad/ Mithulu UK emerged triumphant against Jessica Gurung/ Sunayana Mukhiya and Dipesh Dhami/ Sunayana Mukhiya in their respective clashes, to eventually seal the tie in India’s kitty 5-0.

In the second tie of the day, the Indian shuttlers came into their element as they didn’t let any clash go past the second game and defeated each of their opponents from Bangladesh in straight sets and underlined their dominance.

Aryaman Tandon breezed past Hamidur Rahman Lukman 21-9, 21-8, whereas Aakarshi Kashyap displayed her elegance as she rolled over Urmi Akther with ease (21-11, 21-4).

Arintap and Krishna Prasad didn’t have an easy time out as both their games were evenly contested but the Indian pair came out on top in straight sets (21-15, 21-18) in the boys’ doubles clash.

However, the girls’ doubles pair were in no mood to let points slip and seemed to be in a hurry to finish off the clash as they defeated Rasma Akther and Urmi Akther in comprehensive fashion, 21-8, 21-5. The Indian team remained unbeaten on the first day as Krishna Prasad and Mithula UK’s mixed doubles pair also finished off Urmi Akther and Al Amin Jumar with a similar score of 21-7, 21-6.

In other encounters on day one, even though Nepal were washed out by the Indians, they registered a sweeping victory against Bhutan as they beat them 5-0 while Maldives lost out to Bhutan 2-3 in a close fought encounter.

The five-day long tournament will see five nations including India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Maldives field their best youth players (U-19) as they vie for top honours in Guwahati.

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