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Samiya triumphs at Asian junior badminton

Yangon (Myanmar), Oct 8 (IANS) Young Samiya Farooqui topped Indias rousing performance at the Asia Badminton Junior Championships 2017 here on Sunday afternoon by winning gold in the U-15 womens singles category.

The Hyderabadi lass overcame Widjaja Stephani of Indonesia 15-21, 21-17, 21-19 in a thrilling final to the delight of the packed Thu Wun Na National Indoor Stadium.

India had already taken three bronze medals to make it a true bounty for the U-15 and U-17 teams.

The third seeded Samiya started the first game on the back-foot, trailing for the most part to lose 15-21.

By the second game, however, she was at her attacking best and went ahead 11-8. But the mandatory break at that point affected her momentum and she conceded three points on the trot.

That however only brought out the best in her and she raced away to a 21-17 victory.

In the decider, the Indian took the upper hand again but slowly gave up the initiative to fall behind 7-11. The change of ends helped her once again as she won the next five points for a slender one-point lead.

At 17-17, it seemed like anybody’s game but it was the Indian who came out victorious. She slowed down the game and resorted to long rallies that unsettled her opponent. She regained the lead and converted it into her golden moment, beating Stephanie 20-19.

“I was nervous in the first game but regained confidence after some motivation from my coach and gave my opponent a tough fight,” the jubilant Samiya said after her hour-long match.

“It was a tough match and went down to the wire. But I held on to my nerves and won it. I am very proud to win a gold for my country,” she added.

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