Sports

Bharat knocks out Lakshya, while Tanvi ousts Aakarshi in the quarterfinals

Bharat Raghav raised his game to knock out top-seeded Lakshya Sen in the quarterfinals of the 85th Senior Nationals Badminton Championship 2023 at Guwahati on Friday, December 22.
| Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Tanvi Sharma put paid to Aakarshi Kashyap’s hopes in the quarterfinals of the 85th Senior Nationals Badminton Championship 2023 at Guwahati on Friday, December 22.

Tanvi Sharma put paid to Aakarshi Kashyap’s hopes in the quarterfinals of the 85th Senior Nationals Badminton Championship 2023 at Guwahati on Friday, December 22.
| Photo Credit:
RITU RAJ KONWAR

Bharat Raghav of Haryana ended top-seed Lakshya Sen’s run in the men’s singles quarterfinals, with an intensely fought 15-21, 21-15, 21-17 win in 56 minutes, and set up a clash with Telangana’s M. Tharun, the fourth seed, in the 85th Senior National badminton championships here on Friday.

Tharun, who has been the most consistent among the top players in the tournament so far, was clinical in his victory over Maharashtra’s Varun Kapoor, who retired in the second game after losing the first.

An hour or so earlier, 15-year-old Tanvi Sharma of Punjab played like a veteran to dispatch top-seeded Aakarshi Kashyap of Chhattisgarh in the women’s quarterfinals.

Playing in his first senior Nationals, Bharat, Lakshya’s practice partner at the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bengaluru, put up a mature display, attacking and defending with aplomb.

Lakshya was leading 10-7 and 11-8 in the third game. But Bharat fought back, defending well and using his jump smashes judiciously. From 11-all, Bharat held the upper hand and once he took a 17-13 lead, he appeared confident and went after the Petroleum’s star.

“I have been training in PPA for the last two years. I play matches with Lakshya and train with Mithun and others. It is a great victory,” Bharat told The Hindu.

Trained by mother Meena Sharma in Hoshiarpur, Tanvi put forth a fantastic exhibition of inch-perfect drops and good backcourt play to outwit the top seed in all manner possible.

Railways’ Chirag Sen, Lakshya’s elder brother, has been a stand-out player at the Nationals and his confidence had risen after the win over the third seed Kartikey Gulshan Kumar in the second round on Thursday. It was evident in the manner of his victory over Arya Bhivpathaki in the quarterfinals.

Chirag will take on second seed Kiran George of RBI in the semifinals. Kiran scripted a comfortable win over M. Mithun of Railways 21-12, 21-13.

The results (quarterfinals):

Men: Bharat Raghav (Har) bt Lakshya Sen (Pet) 21-15, 10-21, 21-17; M. Tharun (TS) bt Varun Kapur (Mah) 21-7, 13-3 (retd.) 21-7, 13-3 (retd.); Chirag Sen (Rlys) bt Arya Bhivpathaki (Mah) 24-22, 21-14; Kiran George (RBI) bt M. Mithun (Rlys) 21-12, 21-13.

Women: Tanvi Sharma (Pun) bt Aakarshi Kashyap (CG) 21-15, 22-20; Ishrani Baruah (Asm) bt Sriyanshi Valishetty (TS) 21-14, 14-21, 21-10; Anmol Kharb (Har) bt Mansi Singh (AAI) 21-15, 21-14; Ashmita Chaliha (Asm) bt M. Meghana Reddy (TS) 21-15, 21-19.

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