INDIA GPG 2012 Finals – First Grand Prix title for Kashyap

The closing tournament of the year came to a fitting end as the titles were shared between Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and India, whose Kashyap Parupalli took his first ever Grand Prix […]

The closing tournament of the year came to a fitting end as the titles were shared between Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, and India, whose Kashyap Parupalli took his first ever title.

By Rudy Chandra, Badzine Correspondent.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (archives)

The home favourite Kashyap Parupalli (pictured) defeated Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in a tight three game match to take his first Grand Prix title at the Shaheed Dr.  KL Garg , Syed Modi India Grand Prix Gold 2012. The first game was evenly matched after Parupalli recovered from trailing 13-7 to score 5 consecutive points to minimize the gap. Saensomboonsuk held a lead at 17-13 before Kashyap took six consecutive points and then closed it out, winning 21-19.

Saesomboonsuk led from start to finish in the second game, consistently denying Kashyap’s smashes and attempts at the net, ending in the comfortable score of 14-21. Kashyap, determined not to give an early lead again, played more solidly and led from 6-all. Tanongsak had to play catch up but was denied as Kashyap held his nerve to close the game 21-17.

This is Kashyap’s first ever Grand Prix Gold title, and speaking to the Times of India, he expressed his delight in winning at home: “I am very thrilled to win my first Indian GP title. I give all the credit to Gopi Sir [India’s chief coach Pulella Gopichand].” said Kashyap, who celebrated his victory by punching the air several times before throwing his racquet into the crowd.

Also speaking to the Times of India, Gopichand was calmer saying, “I have a mixed feeling – Kashyap won but Sindhu lost her final. I’m overwhelmed with Kashyap’s victory. Sindhu showed good fitness and I am glad that she reached the final here.”

P.V. Sindhu was unable to match her compatriot’s success in the women’s singles final, denied by Lindaweni Fanetri (pictured) of Indonesia. The match proved to be a tight one, lasting an hour and fourteen minutes. The Indonesian started well to dominate the first game.  Only behind for the first point of the match, she won it 21-15.

A change of ends saw Sindhu begin her fight back, with it being her turn dominate. Fanetri was able to close the gap, but not to pass as the home player closed the second game 21-18 to force the decider. Sindhu led early on in the third, but Fanetri upped her game and led going in to the interval 11-10. The gap grew larger after the break; however Sindhu fought back and briefly led at 17-18, but Fanetri responded by scoring three straight points and then closing out the match 21-18, avenging her defeat in the All England earlier in the year.

Fanetri was complimentary of the Indian, telling the Times of India, “Sindhu plays really well and, considering she is only 17, she has lot of titles to win in the future.”

However, a tearful Sindhu was short of words after her loss.  “I really can’t say much, she played well and did not give me too many opportunities to attack. I also made many errors, which really took the game away from me,” Sindhu was quoted as saying.

“The match had too many rallies and Fanetri was defending well too. I got a bit nervous too at the end when she levelled at 17-all in the third game. I am thankful for the support and I am really sorry that I lost today.”

Meanwhile Fran Kurniawan / Shendy Puspa Irawati (pictured above) clinched their first Grand Prix Gold title at the expense of Nipitphon Puangpuapech / Savitree Amitrapai, the Indonesians having fallen short last year. The score in the first game was tight until the mid-game break, after which Kurniawan/Irawati took the momentum and raced to a 21-12 win. The second game had the Indonesians lead from the start, but from a lead of 18-12, the Thais showed great determination to catch up to force extra points. The Thais held a game point at 22-21, but failed to take it, which proved costly as the Indonesians scored three straight points to win 24-22.

Savitree Amitrapai made up for her loss in the mixed doubles, managing to take the women’s doubles title in the second match up of the day between Indonesia and Thailand. Playing with Sapsiree Taerattanachai (pictured), the Thai pair were too good for the inexperienced Komala Dewi / Jenna Gozali. The match lasted only 31 minutes as the Thais won convincingly, 21-12 21-6.

Lee Yong Dae met the expectation as he and Ko Sung Hyun beat compatriots Kang Ji Wook / Lee Sang Joon, 21-13 21-19. Ko/Lee easily led the first game and similarly led most of the second, but an improved Kang/Lee saw the gap never more than three points. With this title, the new pairing of Ko/Lee closed this year with four titles since the Olympics, certainly not a bad way to head into 2013.

Click here for the complete finals results

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