Shuttler Rutuparna, Arundhati win women’s doubles title


Lucknow: The new pair of shuttlers  Arundhati and Odisha’s Rutuparna Panda combined well to defeat teenage duo of Ritika and Simran Singhi (Mumbai) 21-16, 21-10 in 39 minutes in All India Senior Doubles Ranking Badminton Tournament at Lucknow on Sunday.

Arundhati Pantawane (left) and Ritika Thaker display their medals after the women’s doubles final

Arundhati and Rutuparna, trainees of Pullela Gopichand Academy, faced stiff competition in the first game from 17-year-old combine. However, as the match progressed, Arundhati and Rutuparna controlled the game brilliantly and taught a lesson or two to their young rivals.

Interestingly, both the finalist pairs were unseeded and entered the summit clash after toppling several seeds on their way. Playing for the first time, Arundhati and Rutuparna made their partnership count to shatter the hopes of youngest finalists Ritika and Simran.

Earlier in the mixed doubles final, Arundhati had to taste defeat. The pair of Arundhati and Gouse Shaik went down to fifth seeds K Nanda Gopal and Rutuparna 16-21, 13-21 in a battle which lasted for 35 minutes.

Overall, Arundhati, former India No. 1 in the women’s singles, was pleased with her performance at Lucknow.

“Mixed doubles was little tough but in the women’s doubles, I expected to win. Me and Rutuparna gel very well in practice. It would have been great had I won mixed doubles too,” said Arundhati.

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