PSPB retain team title for 15th straight year

Jwala-Gutta-Ashiwini-Ponnappa-Team-PSPBNew Delhi: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board continued to maintain their stranglehold on the national team championship for the 15th straight year after they comfortably won the double crown in the 69thATS Inter State-Inter Zonal badminton championship at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Thursday.

The defending champions never looked under pressure throughout the tournament and both the men’s and women’s finals against Air India were no different.

The men’s team lead by former national champion Sourabh Varma dropped just one point in doubles to sail through 3-1 to lift the Rahimtoola Cup, while the women bulldozed their opponents 2-0 without much ado.

Varma began the march with a 21-13, 21-12 win over Anand Pawar and it was left to RMV Guru Sai Dutt to complete the formalities with a 21-19, 21-15 victory over Harsheel Dani. In between, Air India’s men’s doubles combination of Akshay Dewalkar and Sanyam Shukla saved a game point in the first game before getting the better of K Tarun and Pranaav Chopra 24-22, 21-15.

The women’s final turned out to be an one-sided affair with world championship bronze medallist P V Sindhu defeating national champion Sayali Gokhale in straight games and Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta completing the scoreline.

Results (finals)

Rahimtoola Cup for men

PSPB bt Air India 3-1 (Sourabh Varma bt Anand Pawar 21-13, 21-12; K Srikanth bt Aditya Joshi 21-19, 21-16; K Tarun/Pranaav Chopra lost to Akshay Dewalkar/Sanyam Shukla 22-24, 15-21; RMV Guru Sai Dutt 21-19, 21-15)

Chadha Cup for women

PSPB beat Air India 2-0 (PV Sindhu vs Sayali Gokhale 21-16, 21-17; Ashwini Ponnappa/Jwala Gutta bt Saili Rane/Sanyogita Ghorpade 21-12, 21-12).