IN PICS: Shuttle Time Dubai finals

Sport360 staff 29/08/2016
All four finalists pose at the end of the tournament.

Over 160 players from 15 teams have fought it out for a shot at the second annual Club Championships title at Dubai Sports World.

Team Yonex went into the final match as favourites, having defeated Prime Star when they last met in week three of the round robin stage. But in a major upset Prime Star took the match with a clean sweep and with it the Shuttle Time Dubai Club championship Group A crown when they defeated Team Yonex 5 -0.

The Group B final had the crowd on the edge of their seats as they witnessed one of the most closely fought ties ever seen in badminton in the UAE.

NSNL SD B came into the final determined to continue their winning run, having defeated the more favoured minor premiers Friday Smashers in a tough encounter in the semi-finals. Team Victor B prevailed, however, in an epic which saw all but one of the matches go to five games.

NSNL SD B took the first two matches - the Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles - and had one hand on the trophy, before Team Victor B staged a tremendous fightback to take the next two matches in five games, levelling the score.

It all came down to the Men’s Doubles match. NSNL SD B’s Christopher Osea and Vince Vhone took the first two sets, before Team Victor B’s Shamsudheen Ibrahim and Rahul Raghu fought back to take the next three and secure the win. At the end of the tie only three points separated the teams, Team Victor B winning 3-2, 221 points to 218.

Dubai Badminton Development Manager and Tournament Director Jaffer Ebrahim was delighted with the event.

“This is the second edition of the tournament and we are pleased that it’s again been very successful and popular with the players,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of excitement for the five weeks throughout the summer, and the standard of play is definitely benefiting from the improvement in coaching, with so many of the club coaches attending the BWF Coaching Courses organised by Shuttle Time Dubai over the past year.”

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Sindhu thanks hundreds of well wishers on Twitter

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Sindhu took time out to thank her sell wishers.

PV Sindhu might be India’s most sought after sportsperson right now, but she has managed to handle all the adulation and attention in a strikingly grounded fashion.

In an age when young stars get swayed by the riches that tend to follow success, India’s only silver medalist at Rio 2016 remains as down to earth as ever.

On 19 August, celebrities from across spheres, be it sports, entertainment or politics, took to Twitter to congratulate Sindhu for becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver.

Five days, and a grand homecoming later, it was Sindhu’s turn to return the compliments as she used the same platform to thank all those who supported her during the campaign.

India’s cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar was a notable supporter of Sindhu’s achievements and the Olympian was keen to acknowledge the star.

Another of India’s most famous badminton players, and 2012 Olympics bronze medalist, Saina Nehwal also paid hoamge to Sindhu.

In return, Sindhu had some kind words for Nehwal as she wished her a speedy recovery from injury.

The badminton fraternity were all behind Sindhu, with Britain’s Chris Addock one of many to tweet Sindhu.

Sindhu seemed to be greatly touched by the messages she received from Indian boxer Shiva Thapa and cricketers, Yusuf and Irfan Pathan.

Meanwhile, here’s how Sindhu thanked Indian tennis legend, Mahesh Bhupati.

Members of India’s film fraternity, the likes of Bollywood stars Emraan Hashmi and Anushka Sharma, were also involved in the Twitter love-in.

As were Indian politicians.

And of course, the Indian Twitter office was at the heart of the conversation.

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Shuttle Time Dubai set for a thrilling showdown

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Eye on the prize: Heri Setiawan of Team Victor readies for a strike.

Insipred by the performances of their heroes in Rio, Dubai’s best badminton players faced off in the semi-finals of the Shuttle Time Dubai Badminton Club Championships in an exciting day of action at Dubai Sports World.

The 160 players from 15 teams have fought over the last three weeks for a shot at the second annual Club Championships title. The teams have played in two groups, with two pools of five teams in Group A (Level A and Level B) and one pool of five teams in Group B contesting in five categories; Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Women’s Doubles and Masters Doubles (40 and above).

The top four teams in Group A Level A played last weekend to decide the finalists, while in a variation on last year’s format, the Group B semi-finals were contested by the top two teams in Group A Level B and the top two teams in Group B.

While Group A Level A saw the favourites reach the finals, there were upsets in both Group B matches, with less fancied rivals ruling the roost. Newbreed B reached the semifinals of Group A Level B with four wins in four matches in the preliminary rounds, but were convincingly defeated by second-placed team Team Victor B, who won 4-1 win.

The other Group B semi-final saw Friday Smashers battle against NSNL-SD B, who were second in Group A Level B. Friday Smashers came into the semi-final with an unbeaten record, but in the match of the day, NSNL-SD B won a nail-biting contest over their more favoured opponents.

They won 3-2, with three of the matches going to five games. The results in the Group A semi-finals were no less exciting but went a little more to plan. Group toppers Team Yonex continued their winning form and defeated fourth placed NSNL-SD A 3-2, while second placed Prime Star defeated third placed Team Victor 3-2.

The Club Championships are held under the umbrella of Shuttle Time Dubai, an engaging and inclusive development programme in the emirates which aims to encourage participation in badminton across the community.

In addition to the Club Championships, Shuttle Time has a range of programmes and activities including teacher training and coaching development programmes, hosting Schools Championships and providing free courts at Dubai Sports World.

The Shuttle Time Dubai programme is being implemented as part of the arrangement between the BWF and Dubai Sports Council, as part of the hosting of December’s Dubai World Superseries Finals.

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