Double the joy for Vrushali

It proved to be a 'Super' Sunday for Andhra Pradesh's upcoming shuttler Vrushali G as the 14-year-old showed great courage to overcame pain from a sore left foot and defeat her higher ranked opponents to complete a grand double. She won both the girls' under-17 and under-16 singles crowns in the 2nd Gautam Thakkar Memorial All India Junior Masters Prize Money Badminton Tournament. Incidentally these were her maiden major victories in the two age-categories.

Vrushali, a class 10 student from the DAV Public School, Hyderabad, maintained her brilliant winning streak of form in the finals. First, in the under-17 title clash, the eighth seed Vrushali, a product of the Gopi Chand Badminton Academy,dropped the first game, against third seed Malvika J K of Kerala. But she recovered strongly to win the second to level the scores, before snatching a close win in the third game to seal a 11-21, 21-15, 21-19 victory in 50 minutes.

However, in the under-19 final, the third-seeded Vrushali scored a stunning straight games win against top-seed Riya Pillai of Maharashtra. The triumph in the under-17 final proved to be the perfect boost for the young Vrushali who waltzed to a fluent 21-7, 21-13 victory in just 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra's third seed Kaushal Dharmamer exhibited remarkable fighting qualities to record a come-from-behind win against fourth seed Talar Laa of Air India in the boys' under-17 singles final. Kaushal after losing the opening game rather tamely, put up a much improved performance and went on to comfortably win the next two games to complete a deserving 10-21, 21-8, 21-15 victory. Top seed Rohit Yadav (AAI) claimed the boys' under-19 title defeating seventh seed Arshalan Naqvi (UP) 21-16, 21-16 in 45 minutes.

Results: (all Finals): Girls' under-17 singles: Vrushali G (AP) bt Malvika J K (Ker) 11-21, 21-15, 21-19; Girls' under-19 singles: Vrushali G (AP) bt Riya Pillai (Mah) 21-7, 21-13; Boys' under-17 singles: Kaushal Dharmamer (Mah) bt Talar Laa (AI) 10-21, 21-8, 21-15; Boys' under-19 singles: Rohit Yadav (AAI) bt Arshalan Naqvi (UP) 21-16, 21-16.

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