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Saina emerges champion in Mumbai

india Updated: Nov 17, 2006 22:46 IST

Every time Saina Nehwal lost a point she simply shook her head, smiled and got ready for the next point. The gesture spoke volumes about the self-confidence of the 16-year-old as she bulldozed second seed Soo Young Jang of Korea to win the Indian Oil Indian International Badminton championship at the Goregaon Sports Complex on Friday.

The top seed and defending champion needed just half an hour to tame the Korean 21-9, 21-14 for her third international title. However, the Koreans took revenge within an hour when fifth seed Cheol Ho Lee thrashed seventh seed Nikhil Kanetkar 21-11, 21-11 to lift the men's singles crown.

The women's title clash was a repeat of the junior world championship semi-final in Korea last week. Saina executed her plan of playing short rallies and raced to a 6-0 lead in the first game by the time her opponent could understand anything.

The second game began on a similar note but a slight loss in concentration on Saina's part gave the Korean a chance to fight back. Jang levelled scores at 10-10 but the break at 11-10 helped Saina regroup and take eight points in a row to kill the contest.

Sanave, Rupesh win

In the doubles, top seeds Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar saved four match points to beat Chan Peng Soon and Chang Hun Pin of Malaysia 19-21, 21-8, 22-20 in just under an hour to lift the title. The women's pair of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien were not that fortunate, going down to Korea's Youn Kyung Jung and Kim Min Jung 21-18, 21-19.

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