U'khand badminton team secures silver, loses to Manipur in finals

Dehradun: The Uttarakhand badminton team created history by winning a silver medal in the ongoing 44th Inter State – Inter Zonal Junior National Badminton Championship held in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh.
In a close-fought final, the Uttarakhand team was defeated by Manipur by a margin of 2-3 on Thursday. The Uttarakhand team, which won the women singles event and the doubles event, lost in the men’s singles, doubles and mixed-doubles event.
The players who played in the finals consisted of Dhruv Rawat, Unnati Bisht, Bhavesh Pandey, Sohail Ahmed and Aditi Bhatt.
The Uttarakhand contingent had reached the finals after whitewashing Maharashtra by 3-0 in the semi-finals. This is the first time in the history that the Uttarakhand team reached the final of the tournament. The Uttarakhand team got an entry in this tournament after winning the East Zone Inter State Badminton Championship 2019 held in Almora in September.
Expressing delight over the victory, president of the Uttarakhand State Badminton Association (USBA), Ashok Kumar, said, “The Uttarakhand badminton fraternity is extremely proud of the junior team for its successful venture in the national badminton championship. We had a very close final against Manipur, which could have gone either ways. This was the first time we were participating in this tournament, and in our first attempt we have bagged a silver medal. The individual events will conclude by December 30 and I am sure that our players will continue winning medals for the state. Next year in April, the senior team will play in the nationals and we have a good chance of bagging a gold medal. Uttarakhand badminton is prospering at a rapid pace, as Almora’s Lakshya Sen has a very high chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, as he has reached the 32nd spot in the world ranking. If he gets his ranking around the 25-mark and his national ranking in the top 3, which is currently at 5, then he will be able to play to represent the country in Tokyo,”
Bahadur Singh Mankoti, secretary of USBA, said foreign coaches would be hired to prepare players for the national tournament that is scheduled to take place in Lucknow in April next year.
“We were able to participate in this tournament because we won the east zone championship in Almora back in September. Only the zonal champions participate in this tournament and we participated for the first time and reached the finals in the first attempt, too. We are also the zonal champion in the senior category, so we will be competing in the nationals, which will take place in Lucknow in April next year. In order to get well prepared, we have decided to organise a camp in Dehradun in March. The camp will have foreign coaches to guide Uttarakhand shuttlers,” said

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