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Siddarth, Deepali new West Zone badminton champions

Mumbai :Chhattisgarh duo of Siddharth Pratap Singh and Deepali Gupta emerged men’s and women’s singles champions in the open events in the West Zone inter-state badminton championships held in Navi Mumbai.

The inter-state champion Maharashtra’s top players like women’s top seeded Neha Pandit, Mudra Dhainje, Vaishnavi Iyer and men’s Harsheel Dani, as well as MP’s junior India No 1 Shriyanshi Pardeshi, all opted out of the open events as they received direct entries for the Nationals.

This gave the lesser lights from other states like Siddharth and Deepali (from Chhattisgarh), Pranjal Chimulkar (from Goa) and Aryamann Tandon (Gujarat), to show their mettle. And they did it in style by clinching singles titles in their respective categories.

For hosts Maharashtra, the only saving grace was the hard-fought victory of Nishad Dravid and Akshay Raut in the men’s doubles final.