Nagpur: A high-profile inauguration ceremony and some riveting on-court action got the 73rd Inter-state Inter-zonal Championship off to a smashing start at the Divisional Sports Complex in Nagpur on Thursday.
4500+ school children from Podar World, CBS, Pakwasa Girls High School, ERA Convent, DPS, Bhavans, St Mary Academic School, Wonderland School, Swami Avdheshnand School, Anjuman High School, School of Scholars attended the ceremony and stayed on to watch the matches. The kids were all pumped up during the inauguration ceremony dancing to the tune of traditional dhol. The players too got a huge support from the crowd with kids and other spectators cheering for them.
The ceremony was attended by the State Cabinet Minister for Energy, New & Renewable Energy and State Excise Shri Chandrashekhar Bawankule, the Mayor of Nagpur Smt. Nandatai Jichkar and Maharashtra Badminton Association President Arun Lakhani. The honourable dignitaries lit a lamp, marking the auspicious start of the competition. Students from the Centre Point School sang the National Anthem.
If the opening ceremony started proceedings off with a bang, the on-court action that followed didn’t disappoint either.
A total of 6 ties were played over the course of the day and the finals to be played tomorrow, with the talent of such star shuttlers as Pranav Chopra, N Sikki Reddy, Sai Praneeth and Manu Attri, on show for the gathered crowds.
Maharashtra Badminton Association President Arun Lakhani said, “We wish to take Nationals to the level of Super Series. It should be a unique event where all the top national players participate. Steps taken at Nagpur are towards the same, offering best playing conditions and support.
On the participation of 4500+ students, he said we expect over 20,000 students to see these matches. And I believe future Sindhu, Saina, Shrikant’s are hidden in these school children, waiting to be discovered. Exposure to game of highest level may inspire, develop interest of some children.to become Champions.”
Petroleum Sports Promotional Board (PSPB) and Madhya Pradesh have entered into the Finals of the Inter – State Inter Zonal Championship which will be held tomorrow.
The matches played today will count toward the 73rd Inter-state Inter-zonal Championship. They do, nevertheless, mark the start of the Senior Nationals.
Team championship: Semifinals: PSPB 3 (Manu Attri & N. Sikki Reddy bt Akshay Dewalkar & Sanjana Santosh 21-16, 21-14; R.M.V. Guru Sai Dutt lost to Kaushal Dharmamer 14-21, 22-20, 11-21; G. Ruthvika Shivani bt Neha Pandit 21-12, 21-15; Manu Attri & Pranaav Chopra bt Akshay Dewalkar & Prasad Shetty 21-13, 21-9).
MP bt Manipur 3-1 (Kushboo Patel & Shubham Prajapati bt K. Dingku Singh & N. Purnima Devi 19-21, 21-19, 21-16; Shubham Prajapati lost to Maisnam Meiraba 12-21, 22-20, 18-21; Shriyanshi Pardeshi bt Angita Naorem 21-4, 21-5; Alap Mishra & Abhimanyu Singh bt Manjit Singh Khwairakpam & Dingku Singh Konthoujam 21-19, 22-20).