Indian shuttlers dominated three – Polish International, Belgium Junior and Guatemala International Series – tournaments abroad on Sunday.
Kiran George won the men’s title in Polish International while Tasnim Mir and Naren Shankar Iyer triumphed in Belgium Junior.
However, in the 7th Guatemala International Series, Samayara Panwar was beaten in the final.
It was an ideal warm up for Kiran who is in the Indian team for Thomas Cup to be held in Denmark next week.The 21-year-old clinched his second international title at Zakopan, a $5000 event, when he defeated world No. 235 Jia Heng Jason Teh of Singapore 13-21,21-14, 21-13 in 46 minutes.
Playing with cold and fever, unrelated to Covid-19, Kiran was calm during the week.“I felt weak and had a cold too on reaching the venue on Wednesday. The organisers conducted an RT-PCR test every day. It’s winter in Europe now, I might have got it because of that, may be,” Kiran told indianexpres.com from Poland.
“I’m happy with my performance and even my coach told me I should be reaching top 50 this season,” said Kiran who has been trained by Dronacharya awardee U Vimal Kumar in Bengaluru at Prakash Padukone Academy since 2014.
In the semifinals, Kiran overcame world No. 215 Collins Valentine Filimon of Austria 21-14. 21-7 and in the quarterfinals he ousted 99th ranked Kim Bruun, a Korean-born Danish player, 21-11, 21-15.
In the round of 32, Kiran, ranked 101 in the World, beat 153rd ranked Jonathan Dolan of Ireland 21-18, 23-21 while in round of 16, the second son of former national champion George Thomas overcame compatriot 138th ranked Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 21-11, 20-22, 21-10 which lasted 55 minutes.
Kiran tasted international success for the first time when he won JE Wilson International at Accra, Ghana in 2019. The Kerala boy who was world No. 228 then won $1200 winners cheque and 2500 ranking points.
At the Polish event, Kiran, younger brother of Arun George, doubles specialist at Indian camp with Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad, added 2500 points and will break into the top 100 when the Badminton World Federation, the world governing body, releases its new rankings list.
The former under-17 and U-19 national champion, Kiran is focussing on singles unlike Arun, a 2013 junior national finalist, who switched to doubles category.“I grew up watching my dad playing. It’s always singles for me,” Kiran insisted. “In Thomas Cup, I hope to gain experience,” added Kiran who represented India as a junior player in two Asian meets and the 2018 World Championship.
Meanwhile in the men’s doubles event, Sai Prateek and Ishaan Bhatnagar emerged champions defeating fourth-seeded English pair Roy Easton and Zach Russ 21-18, 27-25.
However, luck deserted the Indians in the women’s categories. In doubles final the duo of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand lost to French pair of Margot Lambert and Anne Tran 10-21, 18-21 while in the singles, Samiya Imad Farooqui was trounced by Yue Yann Jaslyn of Singapore 11-21, 9-21.
Indian juniors shine in Belgium
Tasnim Mir beat Germany’s Antonia Schaller 21-10, 21-11 to clinch the Belgian Junior women’s singles title while Naren Shanker Iyer defeated hosts Yaro Van Delsen 20-22, 21-15, 21-22 to lift the men’s title at Hall Omnisport La Préalle in Herstal.
Naren survived anxious moments when he saved eight game points in the opener but in the next two the Begaluru lad regained his poise to triumph over fifth seed in 54 minutes.
In the Guatemala International Series final, Samayara Panwar was beaten by Jennie Gai of the USA 6-21, 9-21.
Men’s doubles: Ishaan Bhatnagar & Sai Pratheek (Ind) bt Rory Easton & ZachRuss (Eng) 21-18, 27-25.
Women’s doubles: Margot Lambert & Anne Tran (Fra) bt Treesa Jolly & Gayatri Gopichand (Ind) 21-10, 21-18.
In Rd 64 Naren Shankar Iyer bt Robin Schmalz (Estonia) 21-12, 21-13, in Rd 32 bt Emil Dantler (Austria) 21-17, 21-11; in Rd 16 bt Iljo Van Delsen (Belgium) 21-5 21-11; in quarters bt Oskar Männik (Estonia) 21-18, 21-10; in semis bt Noah Haase (Netherlands) 21-19, 21-15; in final bt Yaro Van Delsen 20-22, 21-15,21-12.
In Rd 32 Ayan Rashid bt Sanjeevi Padmanabhan Vasudevan (Germany( 21-16, 23-21; in R16 bt David Eckerlin (Ger) 21-19, 23-21; in last 8 lost to Yaro Van Delsen (Belgium) 17-21, 9-21
Women singles In Rd 32, 1-Tasnim MIR bt Andra Mai Hoop (Estonia) 21-1,21-5, in Rd 16 bt Selin Hübsch (Germany) 21-17, 21-8; in quarters bt Ramona Üprus (Estonia) 21-15, 21-14; in SF bt Florentine Schöffski (Germany) 21-12 21-10; in final bt Antonia Schaller (Germany) 21-10, 21-11
Ayan-Tasnim bt David Eckerlin-Amelie Lehmann (Germany) 21-17, 21-15; Nikolaj Stupplich-Julia Meyer (Germany) bt Ayan-Tasnim 16-21,24-22, 25-23.
Guatemala international series
In Rd 16 Samayara Panwar bt Gonzalez Ana Pamela (Guatemala)21-13, 21-15; in QF bt Haramara Gaitan (Mexico) 21-16, 20-22, 26-24; in SFbt AlejandraJose Paiz Quan (Guatemala) 21-17, 21-12; in final bt Jennie Gai (USA ) 6-21,9-21