MUSCAT — Talented schoolgirl Niyati Rao bagged a double by winning the women's singles title after her open crown that she had captured a few days ago, at the BankMuscat-sponsored annual badminton tournament organised by the Indian Social Club Muscat.
In the women’s singles final, Niyati recovered from a slow start to outplay girls’ champion Sailee Kerkar
21-12, 21-11. It was Sailee who made the first impression as she unleashed a series of brilliant cross-court placements to take a 6-2 lead in the opening game. Once Niyati had rallied to 7-all, she played with more purpose sending deep lobs and smashes on the flanks to take a hold of the game.
Niyati opened up a 7-3 lead in the second before a resurgent Sailee fought back to 9-all. Unnerved, Niyati controlled the rallies to pocket the game and the title to make it a double.
In mixed doubles, the top-seeded pair of Pranav and Niyati Rao defeated Sairaj and Surya Prabha 21-9, 21-7 to enter the semifinals while the No 2 seeds K Suresh and Bharathi also entered the last four by overcoming Vishal Dhavale and Nishita Karnik 21-13, 21-13.
Third seeds Ajin Tom and Sailee Kerkar made the grade with a comfortable 21-7, 21-9 victory over Sajeev and Minu Saji. Manoj M V and Shiju earned a place in the men's 'A' doubles final after having scored a series of impressive victories. In the semis, the duo scored a brilliant 21-13, 21-10 win over V A Francis and Babu Said.
In other matches of the same event, Abel Isaac and Noel Halister faced some resistance before overcoming Prajith and Nazruddin 22-20, 21-14 to line up a semifinal meeting against Bishen Bhalla and Sathisan Nair, who combined well to defeat Sajeev and Shivadasan 21-13, 21-13.