Brothers Srikanth, Nandagopal strike it rich for family, country | othersports | Hindustan Times
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Brothers Srikanth, Nandagopal strike it rich for family, country

othersports Updated: Jun 10, 2013 02:51 IST

It was family business in Indian badminton on Sunday as young brothers K Srikanth and K Nandagopal emerged triumphant in two different international tournaments in Asia.

Srikanth, the younger sibling, became the latest from the country to make a mark at the top level as he stunned local favourite and top-seed Boonsak Ponsana in the final of the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold.

The 20-year-old won 21-16 21-12 for his maiden international singles title.

Double delight
Nandagopal, two years elder, clinched the mixed doubles title in the Li-Ning Maldives International Badminton Challenge in Male. He teamed up with K Maneesha to defeat Korean pair Dae Sung Kim and Bo Kyung Oh 21-16 23-21.

The well-built players, hailing from Guntur town in Andhra Pradesh, are the latest from national coach Pullela Gopichand's Hyderabad academy to grab the limelight.

"It's a double dhamaka for our family today," said their overjoyed father, KVS Krishna. "All credit for this (Srikanth's) victory goes to his coaches. They were the ones who guided him. I cannot express in words how hard he worked," he said.

Srikkanth, despite being only the 13th seed, wasn't overawed going up against the seasoned Ponsana. "I knew I had a 50-50 chance even though he is world number eight," he was quoted as saying after his victory. "I just wanted to give my 100 per cent. I focused on one point at a time and knew it was all about who plays well on that day."

Srikanth will hardly have any time to celebrate the win. He will return to Hyderabad immediately but will fly back to Singapore on Friday or Saturday. The Singapore Open starts on June 18.

Indian badminton has been on an upward curve in the last few years. Saina Nehwal capped her meteoric rise by winning the bronze medal at the London Olympics where India number one, Parupalli Kashyap, reached the men's singles quarterfinals.