Sitthikom Thammasin's joy, Lakshya Sen's tears in Mumbai
Thailand's Sitthikom Thammasin was simply feeling "great to be back with a win" after a two-year layoff due to injuries when he defeated India's Lakshya Sen in the men's singles final in the USD20,000 India International Badminton Challenge (Tata Open) in Mumbai on Sunday.
The unseeded Thai tamed sixth seed Lakshya in a tough 80-minute final - coming back from a game down to record a 15-21, 21-14, 21-19 win and pocket the USD1,500 prize money that came with the title.
It is not so much about the money but the win that he longed for after being out in the cold due to a couple injuries.
"It feels great to be back with a win after a long layoff," said the 22-year-old who won the bronze medal in the singles in the Asian Junior Championships in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 2013. The same year he won the Smiling Fish International. He also won the Singapore International in 2012.
Making a comeback this year Thammasin, ranked 161 in the world, managed only a silver in this year's Indonesia International.
"My patience and perseverance also contributed to my win against a talented player like (Lakshya) who is ranked higher than me," added Thammasin.
Lakshya is ranked three in the junior rankings and 107 in the BWF senior ranking list. The Indian youngster came to Mumbai fresh from his win in the India International Series in Hyderabad a week earlier and was a hot favourite in Mumbai.
Thammasin signaled that he is shaping up well to make a name for himself in the sport next year. In the first round in the India International Badminton Challenge in Mumbai the Thai packed off top seed and India's former national champion Sourabh Verma - which boosted his confidence.
In the women's final Ruthvika Shivani Gudde, seeded eight, defeated compatriot Riya Mukherjee 21-12, 23-21.
Thailand won their second title in Mumbai through Maneepong Jongjit-Nanthakarn Yordphaisong who defeated Malaysia's Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik 21-6, 21-9.
Hong Kong were also double winners - winning the women's doubles and the mixed doubles.
RESULTS ( ALL FINALS)
Sitthikom Thammasin (THA) beat Lakshya Sen (IND) 15-21, 21-14, 21-19
Maneepon Jongjit-Nanthakarn Yordphaisong (THA) beat Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik (MAS) 21-6, 21-9
Ruthvika Shivani Gudde (IND) beat Riya Mukherjee (IND) 21-12, 23-21
Ng Tsz Yau-Yeung Nga Ting (HKG) beat Ng Wing Yung-Yuen Sin Ying (HKG) 23-25, 21-14, 21-19
Mak Hee Chun-Yeung Ng Ting (HKG) beat Chang Tak Ching (HKG) Ng Wing Yung (HKG) 21-11, 17-21, 21-18