Rajawat and Aakarshi top trials


Priyanshu Rajawat and Aakarshi Kashyap won hard-fought battles to top the BAI National selection trials here and ensured their places in India’s team as singles players in various team events lined up for the year.

On Wednesday, Rajawat overcame Kiran George in three games spread over 58 minutes to join Lakshya Sen, K. Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy as the options for singles. Similarly, Aakarshi ended Ashmita Chaliha’s run in three games to join P.V. Sindhu as the second-choice player in team events.

It may be recalled that World No. 23 Saina Nehwal had chosen to stay away from these trials after questioning the decision of the National selectors to keep her out but retain men’s World No. 23 H.S. Prannoy in the National team.

With Saina not in consideration, Ashmita looks the best bet to play the third singles for India in Uber Cup.

The biggest upset of the day came in women’s doubles when Treesa Jolly and Gayathri Gopichand upstaged country’s top-ranked women’s doubles pair of Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-10, 21-17. Though both pairs were assured of being in the Uber Cup squad, it was a big result for the youngsters.

In men’s doubles, M.R. Arjun and Dhruv Kapila topped the trials. Sumeeth Reddy made amends for the disappointment in men’s doubles by joining hands with Ashwini Ponnappa and beating the field in mixed doubles.

After the trials, the selection committee met to discuss the results. They are likely to announce the provisional list of players for National teams for the upcoming Thomas Cup and Uber Cup, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

League results (top-four group):

Men singles: Priyanshu Rajawat bt Kiran George 21-15, 18-21, 21-19.

Women singles: Aakarshi Kashyap bt Ashmita Chaliha 21-10, 17-21, 21-15; Unnati Hooda bt Aditi Bhatt 21-18, 21-16.

Men doubles: M.R. Arjun-Dhruv Kapila bt Manu Attri-Sumeeth Reddy 21-6, 25-23; Krishna Prasad-Vishnuvardhan Goud bt Ishaan Bhatnagar-Sai Pratheek 21-17, 21-14; Arjun-Dhruv received a walkover from Ishaan-Pratheek; Krishna-Vishnuvardhan bt Manu-Sumeeth 15-21, 21-14, 21-13.

Women doubles: Treesa Jolly-Gayathri Gopichand bt Sikki Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa 21-10, 21-7; Tanisha Crasto-Shruti Mishra bt Simran Singhi-Ritika Thaker 21-16, 21-12.

Mixed doubles: Sumeeth Reddy-Ashwini Ponnappa bt Ishaan Bhatnagar-Tanisha Crasto 11-21, 22-20, 21-18; Pratik Ranade-Akshaya Warang bt Sai Pratheek-Sikki Reddy 15-21, 22-20 (retd.).

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