Northeast Zone Inter-State Badminton Championship
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Oct. 12: In what was a memorable comeback from the Manipur shuttlers, the junior mixed team events was won by Manipur after going 2-0 down in the first two matches against Assam, but winning the last three on the trot at the ongoing Northeast zone inter-state badminton championship held at the Dimapur District Badminton Association (DDBA) Indoor Stadium, United Colony (Nagarjan) in Dimapur on Oct. 11.
With the senior mixed team events clinched by Assam by winning the first three matches comfortably, also against Manipur, similar result was expected in the junior mixed events as well, as Assam won the first two matches—the women’s singles and men’s singles.
However, in the third match, Manipur got the much needed confidence back to their stride by getting the better of Assam in the men’s doubles match winning 16-21, 13-21. As a result, the match was stretched further to decide the winner of the junior mixed category with the tie 2-1 in Assam’s favour.
Earlier, during the first women’s singles match played between Isharani Baruah of Assam and Devi Kashmaheshwari of Manipur, the match went to a decider. Baruah had 10 points to close the game in the final set, but Devi clawed her way back to 16-20. But in the end it was too much for Maheshwari to level the points and Baruah won the game with a smash down the line.
The second match was contested between Iman Sonwal of Assam and Bidyasagar Salam of Manipur during a men’s singles contest. Salam seemed well on his way to victory in the first set, but Sonowal reeled off three straight points in the closing stages and closed out the set with a tight margin of 22-20. In the second set, the Assam player showed some individual brilliance in the defence as well as in the offence which was too much for Salam as Sonowal close out the match comfortably.
In the fourth match, a women’s doubles match was contested during which the two teams displayed some breathtaking rallies with the two teams going neck to neck in the points table. However, Manipur pair had the last word as they defeated the Assam pair 22-24, 21-16, 16-21. With this win, the tie drew level at 2-2 which went to a decider.
The deciding match saw a mixed doubles contest between Assam and Manipur, in which the winner of the match would determine the fate of the junior mixed team championship. But in the end, Manipur played out a dominant match winning the contest 12-21, 16-21, with it lifting the junior mixed team events championship.
The event will come to an end on Sat. Oct. 13 during which there will be a closing ceremony at 3 pm at the DDBA indoor stadium, United Colony (Nagarjan) in Dimapur. The event will begin with final matches of the individual events after which the chief host of the tournament, the chief minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio, and the special invitee, the president of Badminton Association of India, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma will address the gathering. It will be followed by the prize distribution ceremony.