Rising badminton star Unnati Hooda came back from the abyss to clinch the women’s singles crown, beating Tasnim Mir in a hard-fought final at the Khelo India Youth Games here on Tuesday.
Unnati came back after losing the opener to beat former world junior No. 1 Tasnim, winning 9-21, 23-21, 21-12 in a thrilling 47 minutes.
Unnati, 14, the youngest Indian to join the Uber Cup team, looked down on former junior world number 1 Tasnim Mir after losing the opener 9-21 and trailing 11-18 in the second.
But she didn’t give up and started frustrating Tasnim with her patient game. Tasnim tried to force the pace and earn quick points, allowing Unnati to return to the competition.
Unnati saved four match points, including a lucky clean deal that helped her win the second game. The decider was an unbalanced affair then, with Tasnim unable to find his rhythm. Unnati won the match in 47 minutes.
Devika Sihag won the bronze medal.
Maharashtra’s Darshan Pujari clinched the badminton boys‘ singles gold medal, beating Tamil Nadu’s S. Rithvik Sanjeevi 21-15, 22-20 to lift the title. Saneeth DS pocketed the bronze medal.
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