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Lakshya , Satwik-Chirag record upset victories to win  their first Yonex-Sunrise India Open titles

Harpal Singh Bedi

Lakshya Sen

New Delhi:  Playing  to a plan  Lakshya Sen stunned World Champion  Loh Kean Yew  and doubles pair of  Satwiksairaj Rankireddy shocked three times world champion duo  of  Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan   to    claim  their first Yonex-Sunrise India Open crowns with convincing wins KD Jadhav Indoor Hall.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

It turned out to be super Sunday for Indian badminton fans as Sen accounted for fancied  Loh Kean Yew 24-22, 21-17 in 54 minutes to win his first Super 500 title while Satwik and Chirag   displayed better nerves to overpower  top seeds Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan 21-16, 24-22 

The men’s final turned out to be  an edge of the seat  contest  with two world championships medallists facing off for the fourth time this year.

Sen, who had won the bronze medal in his debut world championship last month, was first to get off the blocks as he controlled the rallies brilliantly and put Loh under pressure.

He soon raced to a 16-9 lead and though Loh began to find his rhythm, the Indian looked in total control as he had five-point advantage at 19-14. But the world champion wasn’t going to just fold up and he turned the tables on the Indian by clinching six straight points to earn a game point.

The Indian saved two of them, wasted one himself but kept his cool to clinch the second and changed ends with a definite advantage.

The second game opened  on a more even keel as both players engaged in long rallies. The Singaporean upped the pace from the start but to Sen’s credit, he was up to the task. The Indian  was patient in the rallies and his opponent made mistakes under pressure.

At the same time, Sen was always ready to unleash his big cross court smashes and that ensured that Loh could never breathe easy.. And those smashes, one to the left and the other to Loh’s right, clinched Sen his champion point and a place in history.

 “It was a crucial first game. I was leading and then it became 20-20. But I managed to pull out the first game and it gave me a lot of confidence,” Sen said after the  victoryh.

“I didn’t come with a lot of expectations in this tournament as I didn’t get a lot of practice after the world champion. But I came into the final with a much better rhythm as I played few good three game matches and I played more freely in the final today.” he added

Earlier, Satwik and Chirag displayed nerves of steel and even put their more illustrious opponents under pressure with their tactics to clinch the men’s doubles title.

The Indian duo, Chirag and Satwik had a clear game plan of playing longer rallies. That meant they were prepared to play softer net strokes and even lift the shuttle high to force the Indonesians into making mistakes.

But they also prepared to counter the top-seeds game of playing flat rallies in the middle at the start and that allowed them to keep pace with the Indonesians at the start. It was in the 15th point in the opening game that they managed to push the rally longer.

The approach was to tire their senior opponents and Chirag/Satwik were willing to lose points but stick to the plan. It allowed Setiawan and Ahsan to win a few quick points in the opening game and close the gap at 13-13.

But Satwik’s big smashes bailed them out and helped them run away with the opening game.

The second game was neck-and-neck through-out as the Indonesians began taking more risks. Even Setiawan tried to go for the big smashes to unsettle the Indians but to their credit, Chirag and Satwik stood strong in defence.

 However, the Indonesians used all their experience overturn a 14-18 deficit to earn their first game point. It was a tense affair from there on as both the combinations were guilty of making errors while looking for quick points.

Setiawan once served in the net while Ahsan fouled while going for a flick serve on game point and the Indians kept on the pressure with some fantastic shot selections. They ultimately wrapped up the match in 43 minutes, having saved five game points to begin the new season with a title triumph.

Asked  about the five game points in the second game, Satwik said, “we knew they were tired and would take risks. So, we kept things tight and it worked.”

Chirag, who spent some time practicing his net play after Saturday’s semi-final, said, “We were ready for the way they played today.

Second seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand had to dig deep before beating compatriot Supanida Katethong 22-20, 19-21, 21-13 to clinch the women’s singles title.

Thailand’s Benyapa and Nuntakarn Aimsaard defeated Russia’s Anastasiia Akchurina and Olga Morozova 21-13, 21-15 to win the women’s doubles title while Singaporean husband-wife combination of Hee Yong Kai terry and Tan Wei Han upset Malaysian third seeds Chen Tang Jie and Peck Yen Wei 21-15, 21-18 in the mixed doubles final.

HSB

Lakshya Sen, Sindhu in Semis, keep Indian challenge alive at Yonex-Sunrise India Open  

 Harpal Singh Bedi

Lakshya Sen

New Delhi: World Championship bronze medalist  young  Lakshya Sen  staged a superb comeback  to oust experienced   HS Prannoy  while top seed PV Sindhu  overpowered  promising  Ashmita Chaliha  to move into the  semi finals in  their respective categories   of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open  badminton here on Friday

In the men’s section  quarter finals , Lakshya   lost the first game but rallied from behind to beat Prannoy 14-21, 21-9, 21-14 in 60 minutes.  The Indian will will now face NG Tze Yong of Malaysia tomorrow. 

Meanwhile , world champion Loh Kean Yew defeated Russia’s Sergey Sirant 21-16, 21-13.

In the two other all-Indian clashes in Women section,  Sindhu  accounted for  Chaliha 21-7, 21-18 while Aakarshi Kashyap ousted  Malvika Bansod 21-12, 21-15

Sen versus Prannoy  turned out to  be a thrilling affair  and the two players  gave every thing  in terms of effort and aggression. The youngster started with his trademark attacking instinct and took an early lead.

But Prannoy then began to step on the gas and his down the line smashes did hurt Sen’s game plan and the third seed began to make mistakes. But there was not much to differentiate between the two till 13-13 before the former eight of the next nine points to pocket the game.

However Sen  held his nerves  at the start of the second game and opened up a 3-0 lead. Prannoy  made  too many errors while trying to force the pace and never recovered after he conceded a 4-12 lead.

It was Prannoy who started the decider better racing to a 6-1 lead. It was the next point that probably changed the direction of the match. Sen defended a flurry of smashes from his opponent and scored the point with a cross court drive.

Sen won 9 of the next 11 points by keeping the shuttle slightly away from the net on dribbles and attacking Prannoy’s body a lot more.  Prannoy did manage to level the score at 12-12 but could not maintain the tempo as Sen showed more patience during the rallies and his younger opponent made the most of that.

“(In the) first game both of us were playing really fast and the aggression was also there. After the second game we started to rally more and I was a lot more comfortable.” Sen said after the match

Former  champion  Sindhu   started aggressively  against Chaliha  and wrapped  up the  opening game 21-7. But  Chaliha  refused to  give up  without a fight.

In the  second game, the 22-year-old from Assam showcased some of her attacking skills to put her much illustrious compatriot under pressure.

However, the experience of Sindhu made the difference when  the score tied at 15-15. The top seed started moving her opponent a lot more and though Chaliha jumped and dived to keep the shuttle in play, it wasn’t enough to force a decider.

Sindhu will now face Thailand’s Supanida Katethong, who received a walkover in the quarterfinals after Singapore’s Jia Min Yeo conceded the match due to high fever.

Earlier, Kashyap ended Bansod’s run in the tournament. Bansod, who had upset Saina Nehwal in the earlier round, looked nervous from the start and her opponent ensured that she could never settle down.

Kashyap mixed things up by being more aggressive than usual and forced Bansod into committing a lot of unforced errors. It was only at the end of the second game that Bansod looked like playing her game of engaging the opponent in long rallies. But by then she was 10-18 down and it was too little too late.

Kashyap will now face second seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who thrashed USA’s Lauren Lam 21-12, 21-8 in the other quarter-final.

In men’s doubles, top seeds Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan booked their semi-final berth with a 21-12, 21-14 over Norway’s Torjus Flaaten and Vegard Rikheim.

Second seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Sen also reached the last four stage after defeating Singapore’s Hee Yong Kai Terry and Loh Kean Hean 21-18, 21-18.

The Indian pair  will face eighth seeded French combination of Fabien Delrue and William Villeger, who got the better of Ireland’s Joshua Magee and Paul Reynolds 21-9, 23-21 in the other quarter-finals.

HSB

S. Somanath appointed Secretary Department of Space and Chairman Space Commission

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of distinguished scientist S. Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) to the post of Secretary, Department of Space (DoS) and Chairman, Space Commission for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining of the post, inclusive of an extension in tenure beyond the age of superannuation in public interest, or until further orders whichever is earlier.

Somnath’s appointment comes two days before the retirement of the present Secretary DoS and ISRO Chairman Dr. K. Sivan.

The outgoing ISRO chief Dr K. Sivan’s tenure has been marred by failures and major setbacks to India’s Space Programme, controversies and alleged irregularities.

S Somnath, while he was Director Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, was promoted to the Apex Scale equivalent to the post of Secretary in Government of India in December 2019.

Somnath was elevated from Level-16 in the Pay Matrix (Rs 2,05,400-224400) to the Apex Scale, Level-17 in the Pay Matrix (Rs. 2,25000) under Merit Promotion Scheme (MPS with effect from 1 January 2020.

On his promotion to the Apex Scale equivalent to the post of Secretary in Government of India, Newsroom24x7 had predicted in December 2019 that Somnath will be the next Secretary DoS.

Whispersinthecorridors, a web portal that claims to “specialise” in the journalism of predicting transfers and postings had stated on 19 November 2021 on the basis of inputs from “insiders” that Sivan may get another extension in 2022. The prediction by this portal has gone haywire this time. The Whispersinthecorridors news raises the big question: who are these insiders who know nothing?

Tahir Ali honored with “Dakhal Pride Award-2022”

Newsroom24x7 Network

Bhopal: “The recognition people get for excellent performance in their chosen field of specialisation and expertise increases their  responsibilities and encourages them to perform even better.”

Madhya Pradesh Minister for Home, Law, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Narottam Mishra made this observation while honouring experts with the “Dakhal Pride Award 2022” at a special function organised by Dakhal News Channel in the State capital.

On this occasion, former Joint Director, Department of Public Relations, Government of Madhya Pradesh, and ex- Public Information Advisor (RERA), Tahir Ali was honored with “Dakhal Pride Award-2022”.

The program was presided over by State Cooperation Minister Arvind Bhadauria.

Editor-in-Chief of Dakhal News Anurag Upadhyay spoke at the outset and Editor Shefali Gupta gave the vote of thanks.