Aatman Ajmera’s dream run was brought to an end by second-seeded Firoz Mulani,who went onto clinch the men’s singles title in the CCI-GMBA District Badminton Championships at the Cricket Club of India (CCI). Ajmera could hardly be taken lightly,after he disposed off the top-seed Pawan Singh in the semifinals. But combining a flurry of smashes with some languid drop shots at the net,Mulani always stayed in front in the final and got the better off his in-form opponent with a 22-20,21-13 win.
Though the title proved elusive,the day certainly belonged to Ajmera,who is on holiday from Canada,and was unseeded with not much being expected from him. But his win over the leading seed proved to be the match of the day and he left Pawan completely hapless on a number of occasions with his stupendous display of power.
Ajmera is no stranger to the city,however,and is in fact a former MSSA schools champion. He has been under Jitesh Padukones Shuttlers Academy at North India Association right from his junior days.
And he looked well set to upset the apple-cart completely by lifting the title here. Ajmera,however,ended up falling to his own strengths by trying too hard to match Mulani’s aggressiveness and in the process making many unforced errors.
Mulani kept himself ahead of the game at every stage,and stuck to his guns to ease his way to a comfortable victory.
Earlier in the day,Ajmera had overcome Pawan’s similar game-plan of attacking down the flanks. But in the fast-paced final,Mulani never let his opponent get in front and outmanoeuvered him in most points.
Sharing the honours were CCIs own Anokhi Haria and Viplav Kuwale. The ninth standard school girl,coached by former Thomas Cupper Hufrish Nariman in the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy centre,was a picture of fitness and aggression as she beat top seeded Krishaeli Mehta twice in the girls’ under-15 and under-17 finals.
Later,Haria also bagged the girls’ under-17 doubles. Kuwale replicated the feat,emerging as champion in both the boys’ under-17 and under-19 category,not to forget the doubles title.
Mens singles (semifinals): Aatman Ajmera bt 1-Pawan Singh 21-23,24-22,21-17; Firoz Mulani bt Kundan Yadav 22-20,21-12; Final: 2-Firoz Mulani bt Aatman Ahmera 22-20,21-13; Womens singles (Final): Vaishnavi Iyer bt Sayali Parab 21-2,21-1; Girls’ U-19 singles (Final): Vaishnavi Iyer bt Krishali Mehta 7-5 (conceded); Boys’ U-19 singles (Final): Viplav Kuwale bt Yash Salgaonkar 21-9,21-19; Girls’ U-17 singles (semifinals): Krishaeli Mehta bt Ulka Shirodkar 21-7,21-8; Anokhi Haria bt Vaishnavi Iyer 22-20,21-15; Final: Anokhi Haria bt Krishaeli Mehta 23-21,21-12; Boys’ U-17 singles (Final): Viplav Kuwale bt Durvesh Chattopadya 21-19,21-17; Boys’ U-15 singles (Final): Mohit Jeshte bt Ameya Mangaonkar 21-14,16-21,22-20; Girls’ U-15 singles (semifinals): Anbokhi Haria bt Krisheali Mehta 15-21,22-20,21-7; Girls’ U-13 singles (Final): Riya Arolkar bt Rajvi Sampat 21-4,21-8; Boys’ U-13 singles (Final): Jaidev Menon bt Sumer Punjabi 21-9,23-21.