Friday, November 2, 2018

Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi are the crowned champions of the first edition of Red Bull Shuttle Up 2018

~The National Finals of Red Bull Shuttle Up- the country’s first exclusive women’s only doubles tournament- took place in Mumbai on 31st October 2018~

~The National Finals saw the winning pair from Mumbai get the opportunity to play against the best women’s doubles players in the country Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy~

1st November 2018, Mumbai: The National Finals of the first edition of the exclusive women’s doubles tournament in the country, Red Bull Shuttle Up took place on 31st October at Phoenix Market City, Kurla in Mumbai. The doubles pair of Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi from Mumbai claimed the championship title after a charged 11-1; 11-6 final match win over their opponents Daman Rajkumar & Muskan Taya from Delhi. It was an outstanding performance by India’s U19 ranked number 1 women’s doubles pair Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi from Mumbai, who were visibly jubilant post winning their match point. India’s ace shuttler and Red Bull Athlete Ashwini Ponnappa who has been closely associated with the tournament from the beginning, was at the venue throughout the finals, cheering the players. Commonwealth games medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and her current women’s doubles partner Sikki Reddy even played a friendly exhibition match with the winning team much to their delight.
With the growing popularity of the sport be it viewership (5th most viewed) or participation (2nd most played), the tournament aimed to further boost and improve participation and popularity amongst aspiring women players. Red Bull Shuttle Up Qualifiers were held across 5 cities - Delhi, Bangalore, Guwahati, Hyderabad and Mumbai, with winning pairs from each qualifier brought to Mumbai for the National Finals. These were Chhavi Thakur and Kirti Chaturvedi from Delhi, Parvathi S Krishnan & Divya Anandan from Bangalore, Aparna & Maitreyi from Hyderabad, Arti Purbey & Daina Baruah from Guwahati and Ritika Thaker and Simran Singhi from Mumbai. Daman Rajkumar & Muskan Taya were the wild card entry, the pair secured a place for themselves in the National Finals thanks to the lucky loser format of the tournament i.e. they lost the Delhi qualifiers but scored the maximum number of points (26 pts)
Red Bull Shuttle Up National Finals Results:
The national finals was played in a league cum knock out format. Two groups of three teams were formed. All the teams played two games in the group phase. Top two teams from both the groups qualified for the semi-finals.
Semi-finals 1: Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker (Mumbai Qualifier Winner) beat Divya Anandan and Parvathi Krishnan (Bangalore Qualifier Winner) 11-2, 11-1

Semi-finals 2: Daman Rajkumar and Muskaan Taya (Wild Card Entry - Delhi Qualifier Runner-up) beat Chhavi Thakur and Kirti Chaturvedi (Delhi Qualifier Winners) 11-7, 8-11, 11-7
Finals: Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker (Mumbai Qualifier Winner) beat Daman Rajkumar and Muskaan Taya (Wild Card Entry - Delhi Qualifier Runner-up) - 11-1, 11-6
Exhibition match: Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy beat Red Bull Shuttle Up Champions Simran Singhi and Ritika Thaker 11-4, 11-6

India’s ace women doubles shuttler and Red Bull athlete Ashwini Ponnappa said, “Badminton is growing in terms of popularity through viewership and receiving interest through participation. It is my ambition to create awareness and promote doubles badminton in the country as there is a lot of potential for it. We had many Indian pairs who have made it to the knockout stages of international tournaments, which are encouraging signs for doubles badminton. We need more women doubles events in the country. I am grateful to Red Bull for coming up with initiatives like Red Bull Shuttle Up, which provide aspiring women players the opportunity to fulfill their dream and also uplift the standard of women badminton in our country. I would like to congratulate the winners of the first edition of the tournament. They played very good games throughout and I enjoyed playing with Sikki against the tournament champions. They showed a lot of skill and I would encourage them to keep playing and reach even bigger heights.”
Open exclusively for women above the age of 16, all matches were played on the knock out basis where all pairs played a best of 3 sets with 11 points (rally points) instead of the traditional 21 points a set. Each pair, with prior notification to the referee can call for a super point once in a set. By calling for a super point, the pair will get 2 points if they win that particular point. There will be no deduction of points if the pair loses that point. Players must be prepared to play 5/6 matches in a day, during the event. 6 pairs will qualify for the National Finals (first week of November) i.e the winners from each city (5 cities) + 1 lucky losing pair. Lucky loser will be the pair that lost the finals but scored the maximum number of points in that match. In case of 2 teams tied on the same number of points, the same from the previous round will be considered.
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