Nagpur: The 73rd Inter-state Inter-zonal Badminton Championships concluded amid much fanfare at the Divisional Sports Complex in Nagpur on Friday.
The mixed double pair of PSPB Pranaav Reddy and N. Sikki Reddy had the hold of the game since the start. With B. Sai Praneeth and G. Rutvika Shivani winning the men’s single and women’s singles respectively the Petroleum Sports Promotional Board (PSPB) emerged as the winners of the 73rd Inter – State Inter Zonal Championship with a match score of 3 – 0.
The final match was witnessed by Honourable Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation Shri. Nitin Gadkari along with Maharashtra Badminton Association President Mr. Arun Lakhani. The winners were presented with a cheque of Rs. 3,00,000, while the runners up were awarded a cheque of Rs. 2,00,000 at a glittering ceremony.
The finals were hard-fought contests that put on display all of the skill and talent of the top state-level players, which made for a thrilling precursor to the 82nd Senior National Badminton Championship set to begin on Saturday.
Though play is set to begin on Saturday, Mr. Gadkari and Mr Lakhani officially declared the Senior Nationals open in a dazzling ceremony, which saw the pair illuminate a breathtaking display of lights arranged in the shape of a shuttle cock.
International veterans from Nagpur, Mr. C D. Deoras and Mr. Pradeep Gandhe were also felicitated for their immense contribution in the field of badminton in the state of Maharashtra.
Maharashtra Badminton Association President Arun Lakhani said, “I would like to congratulate all the champions of the 73rd Inter-state Inter-zonal Badminton Championship. The competition this year was extremely close. Most of the matches turned out to be riveting contests that went down to the wire and, as such, we couldn’t have asked for a better spectacle to whet the appetite of the fans assembled here ahead of the 82nd Senior Nationals.”
He further added, “We want to make the National’s a premium event that the Indian players look forward to. This is our step towards making this sport inspirational, nearly 22,000 school children will be witnessing the action live here. Our motive behind this is to give the children exposure to badminton at early stage and to encourage them to come out and play. I would also appeal the Government that with the help of associations the already existing stadiums should be made available for the players and the infrastructure should be utilised for the betterment of sports and sportspersons.”
Shri. Nitin ji Gadkari, said “ I am happy to see players across India present here. Nagpur being my home city I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all. Mr. Arun Lakhani is committed to this sport and this can be seen by the kind of arrangements MBA has made for all the players. The Mayor too has provided all the support to the players who have travelled. The opportunity that the players get in the events like this is important the team that does not succeed should take it as a learning and should never stop playing. I would appeal all the players to focus and nurture their talent. Congratulations to the winners and best wishes to everyone.”
The Senior Nationals starting tomorrow are expected to see a greater turnout with India’s most legendary shuttlers set to match wits.