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Unnati, 14, wins Odisha Open to become youngest women singles champion; Kiran George stops Priyanshu for men’s title


Fourteen-year-old Unnati Hooda capped a splendid run with an impressive finish against a fighting Smit Toshniwal to become the youngest winner of the women singles title in the $75,000 Odisha Open badminton tournament at Cuttack on Sunday.

For the menโ€™s singles title, Kiran George staved off a remarkable rally from Priyanshu Rajawat in three games.

The newsmaker of the day was the Haryana school-girl who kept her calm to claim the first game. Trailing 9-14, Unnati battled hard to surge ahead at 18-17 to lead for the first time. Though Smit drew level, Unnati won three straight points to close the game.

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In the second game, Unnati jumped to a 17-4 lead before Smit closed the gap to seven points. Like in the first game, Unnati claimed the final three points for the title.

In the menโ€™s final, after the players were locked 1-1, the decider saw Priyanshu blow away a 10-5 lead after George won eight points on the trot to lead 17-12. Though Priyanshu fought well to catch up at 18, George was not to be denied.

In another all-India final, Treesa Jolly and P. Gayatri defeated Sanyogita Ghorpade and Shruti Mishra to win the womenโ€™s doubles title.ย 

However, in the menโ€™s doubles and mixed doubles finals, where the home-grown talents faced overseas rivals, there was disappointment for the host.

The results (final):

Men singles: Kiran George bt Priyanshu Rajawat 21-15, 14-21, 21-18
Doubles: Nur Mohammad Azriyn Ayub Azriyn & Lim Khim Wah (Mas) bt P. S. Ravikrishna & S. Udayakumar 18-21, 21-14, 21-16.

Women singles: Unnati Hooda bt Smit Toshniwal 21-18, 21-11
Doubles: Treesa Jolly & P. Gayatri bt Sanyogita Ghorpade & Shruti Mishra 21-12, 21-10.

Mixed doubles: Sachin Dias & Thilini Hendahewa (Sri) bt M. R. Arjun & Treesa Jolly 21-16, 22-20.

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