Bhukya, Patri win National U-13 badminton titles

Telangana’s Nishanth Bhukya and Odisha’s Tanvi Patri emerged champions in the boys and girls singles respectively at the 34th Under-13 National Badminton Championships, notching contrasting wins at the UP Badminton Academy here on Wednesday.

Fourth seeded Bhukya came from behind to beat Andhra Pradesh’s Akhil Reddy Boba 19-21, 21-12, 22-20 in 44 minutes whereas Patri took just 22 minutes to brush aside local challenger and 15th seeded Divyanshi Gautam 21-7, 21-10.

Earlier this month, Patri won her maiden National U-13 Ranking Tournament in Maharashtra and was in a sublime touch on Wednesday against Agra’s Gautam. Tossing and placing the shuttle well, Patri kept Gautam on her toes with cross-court volleys to take the first game.

In the second, Gautam tried to narrow the lead after trailing 5-9, dribbling the shuttle at the net, Patri was too good in her placements and forced Gautam to committ a series of unforced errors before wresting the game as well as match.

“I just kept hitting the shuttle at the right spot and didn’t bother much about my opponent. Once I took the lead in the second game, I was sure of winning as I had a five-point lead at the break,” said Patri after collecting a purse of Rs.60,000.

In the boy’s final, Bhukya found Boba quite tough to handle in the first game as the Andhra shuttler raced to a 15-11 lead before winning the game at 21-19. But after the change of ends, fourth seeded Bhukya came from behind to beat Boba. It was neck-and-neck in the decider but Bhukya kept his nerves under control to clinch the issue after drawing parity at 20-all.