Sports Reporter :
THREE city shuttlers were seen in action in an international event after a long long time and the trio of Malvika Bansod, Ritika Thaker and Rohan Gurbani had great opening rounds in their respective categories of main draw of the Victor Ukraine International Series Badminton tournament in Kharkiv on Wednesday. Second seed Malvika wrapped up her first round match in just 21 minutes. She was just too good for local girl Ukraine’s Anastasiia Prokopovych winning 21-14, 21-3 at Lokomotiv Sports Palace. Malvika will play compatriot Anupama Upadhyaya in the second round. Ritika and her partner Bokka Navaneeth gelled well in their first international assignment together outsmarting Ukraine pair of Mykola Shkliaiev and Anastasiia Alymova 21-4, 21-5 in 18 minutes in their mixed doubles first round. But the Indian duo has their task cut out as they run into top seeds German pair of Patrick Scheiel and Franziska Volkmann in the next round.
The Germans, though, were stretched by Switzerland’s Julien Scheiwiller and Lucie Amiguet in straight games 21-14, 25-23. Rohan, who qualified for the men’s singles main draw with three wins on Tuesday on his 19th birthday, showed no signs of fatigue in his fluent 21-7, 21-9 win over countryman Anirudh Janardhanan. The match lasted 18 minutes. He next plays local boy Kyrylo Leonov who defeated fifth seeded Indian Kartikey Gulshan Kumar 21-14, 21-19. The fourth seeded combination of Ritika and Mumbai’s Simran Singhi will begin their campaign against Mariia Stoliarenko-Yelyzaveta Zharka of Ukraine in women’s doubles.