IBAK family pose for a shot after the event.
Bastain & Jabbar bag Blue Tier title Saju, Binu top Red Advance category as Neha, Harsha clinch Pink crown

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 4: Bastain and Jabbar were at their best this week to win the title in the senior-most category — Blue Tier — when the Indian Badminton Association-Kuwait’s (IBAK) four-week Winter Tournament continued at the Saad Al-Awzi School in Salwa this week. Only the semifinals had been scheduled to be held this week and the finals were to be played on Dec 7, 2012 but the organizers decided to complete the tournament so that they could concentrate on the Inter-School Championship on the coming Friday. Bastain and Jabbar were so good that they swept aside all their opponents to emerge the champions in the Blue Tier while Saju C. and Binu were on top in the Red Advanced category, Vikram and Vikram took the trophy in the Red Inter section of the tournament and Neha with Harsha continued their domination of the Pink Tier to clinch the crown. Before reaching the last eight stage the matches were played on a League format with two of the top players of each group moving into the next round. The Winter Tournament was open and conducted across Blue, Red, and Pink tiers (the last category exclusive to IBAK members) while the second IBAK Inter- school tournament is scheduled to start on Dec 7.

Blue Tier
In the finals of the Blue Tier, Bastain and Jabbar won the championship when they beat Suresh and Bader 21-14 21-19 with the champions easily taking the first set but they ran into a tough fight in the second set before they could emerge victorious. The losers finished 1st runners-up. Saju Thomas and Usman finished the tournament as 2nd runners-up but not before they were stretched to the limit by Deepak and Anish before they could win the close fight 21-12 13021 21-18. In the semifinals, Bastain and Jabbar showed how good they were by taking Deepak and Anish to task in their 21-17 21-15 victory to take their place in the finals while Suresh and Bader earned the right to fight for the crown when they hammered Saju and Usman 21-7 21-17.

Earlier, for the quarterfinal stage, the Blue Tier groups A, B, C and D were combined into two groups -Blue Tier AB and Blue Tier CD. Bastain and Jabbar finished on top in Blue AB while Saju and Usman finished on top in Blue CD. In the last matches of the Blue Tier AB group, played this week, Bastain and Jabbar beat Rafeek 23-21 21-19 in a match which went to the limit awhile Suresh and Bader had to take to the court twice to finish with a 21-15 21-14 victory over Chandra and Pushkar in their first match and a 21-15 21-15 triumph against Rafeek and Tamer in their second game. Earlier, the Blue AB saw Bastain and Jabbar involved in a tough fight to beat Chandra and Pushkar 21-16 23-21 before they beat Suresh and Bader 21-19 15-21 21-19 after a very tough match and Chandra with Pushkar also ran into tough competition from Rafeek and Tamer before they won 21-11 19-21 21-19.

In the Blue CD section, Saju and Usman had also been in form as they outclassed Deepak and Anish 21-14 21-19 while Deepak and Anish were also victorious when they defeated Ravi and Shyam Sunder 21-13 21-11.

Blue AB - Final Standings
Names    P     W     L     Pts
Bastain & Jabbar    3    3    0    8
Suresh & Bader    3    2    1    7
Chandra & Pushkar    3    1    2    2
Rafeek & Tamer    3    0    3    1   

Blue CD - Final Standings
Names    P     W     L     Pts
Saju & Usman    3    2    1    6
Deepak & Anish    3    2    1    6
Ravi & Shyam Sunder    3    1    2    3
Noor & Dr Mani    3    1    2    3

Red Advanced Tier
The Red Tier Advanced category saw Saju C and Binu emerge the champions but they were given a very tough time in the second set of the finals before they could clinch the title with a 21-9 22-20 win. The losers took the 1st runners-up spot.
Sunil Raj and Jyothish also went home with a trophy when overcame Relin and Bose 21-17 14-21 21-15 after a very tough game which saw both the sides fighting to the last.
The semifinals had also seen very tough clashes as Saju C and Binu were involved in a very tough game before they could beat Relin and Bose 21-11 23-22 in which the losers fought all the way before they were overcome.

The second semifinal was much tougher, especially the first two sets which went into extensions, as Bharani and Aravind lost the first set 20-22 to Sunil Raj and Jyothish before they prevailed 23-22 21-13. Earlier, in the quarterfinal matches, Relin and Bose routed Rasheed and Sibi 21-10 21-10, Saju C and Binu hammered Sajith and Unnikrishan 21-11 21-12, Bharani and Aravind outclassed Gokul and Anirudh 21-14 21-12 and Sunil R and Jyothish cruised past Ajay and Shajahan 21-15 21-16. Before the above pairs had qualified for the quarterfinals their progress in the league stage had been had been as follows with Relin and Bose finishing at the top in Red Advanced A and Sunil R and Jyothish clinching the top spot in the second. Both of these pairs had remained unbeaten in all their group matches.

Red Advanced A - Final Standings
Names    P    W    L    Pts
Saju C & Binu    5    3    2    9
Bharani & Aravind    5    3    2    10
Shine & Harish    5    0    5    0
Relin & Bose    5    5    0    15
Sony & Sam     5    1    4    3
Ajay & Shajahan    5    3    2    8

Red Advance B - Final Standings
Names    P    W    L    Pts
Sunil R & Jyothish    4    4    0    10
Rasheed & Sibi    4    0    4    2
Sajith & Unnikrishan    4    3    1    8
Allen & Samuel    4    0    4    0
Gokul & Anirudh    4    2    2    7

Red Inter Tier
Vokram and Vikram proved that they were the best pair in the Red Inter Tier when they scored a 21-16 20-22 21-15 victory over Garylord and Kishore to clinch the championship with the losers taking the 1st runners-up honors. Madhu and Jose took the 2nd runners-up award with an easy 21-16 21-15 victory over Nitin and Ashley D’Souza. Earlier, in the semifinals, Garylord and Kishore scored a 21-19 19-21 21-17 victory after a very tough fight in a match that could have gone either way while Vikram and Vikram also were involved in a tough game before they won 14-21 21-12 21-12 to earn their spot in the finals.

This category earlier saw the top eight players clashing with each other in two groups -Red Inter AB and Red Inter CD — which were formed after two of the top players in two League groups were brought together with the other four top players of the other two League groups put in the other group of the quarterfinal stage.
Garylord and Kishore had topped the Red Inter AB group after remaining unbeaten in all their three matches and winning all their games in two sets to collect 9 points while Vikram and Vikram had ended with a similar record in Ret Inter CD.

In the last two matches of the Red Inter AB group played this Friday, Nitin and Ashley beat Baburaj and Vineet 21-10 21-10 to finish in second place and qualify for the semifinals while Garylord and Kishore tamed Abdullatheef and Sajid 21-16 23-12 to knock their opponents into third place and out of the tournament.
In the only game of the Red Inter CD group, Ganga and Arif hammered Imran and Velmurugan 21-10 21-10 in a match which had no bearing on the rest of the tournament as t5he semifinals had already been decided the previous week.

Red Inter AB - Final Standings
Names    P    W    L    Pts
Garylord & Kishore    3    3    0    9
Nitin & Ashley D’Souza    3    2    1    6
Abdullatheef & Sajid    3    1    2    3
Baburaj & Vineet    3    0    3    0
Red Inter CD - Final Standings
Names    P    W    L    Pts
Vikram & Vikram    3    3    0    9
Madhu & Jose    3    2    1    5
Ganga & Arif    3    1    2    3
Imran & Velmurugan    3    0    3    1

Pink Tier
Neha and Harsha proved that they had no competition in the Pink Tier as they beat Sherly and Liya 12-21 21-17 21-10 in the finals of this category to clinch the championship with the losers finishing 1st runners-up.
Meanwhile, Kundana and Shoba took the 2nd runners-up spot after beating Sandhya and Preetha 21-10 21-10. Earlier, in the semifinals, Neha and Harsha hammered Sandhya and Preetha 21-5 21-9 while Sherly and Liya outclassed Kundana and Shoba 21-17 21-16 to earn the right to clash in the finals.
The Pink Tier was being held over only one group as the entrants were comparatively fewer with the top four players qualifying for the knockout stage of the tournament.

Pink Tier - Final Standings
Names    P    W    L    Pts
Neha& Harsha    5    5    0    14
Kundana & Shobha    5    4    1    12
Shirley & Liya    5    3    2    9
Sandhya & Preetha    5    2    3    7
Shaina & Nivedha    5    1    4    3
Lakeisha & Meena    5    0    5    0
Tournament winners

Blue Tier
Champions: Bastain and Jabbar
Ist runners-up: Suresh and Bader
2nd runners-up: Saju Thomas and Usman

Red Advanced Tier
Champions: Saju C and Binu
1st runners-up: Aravind and Bharani
2nd runners-up: Sunil Raj and Jyothish

Red Inter
Champions: Vikram and Vikram
1st runners-up: Garylord and Kishore
2nd runners-up: Madhu and Jose

Pink Tier
Champions: Neha and Harsha
1st runners-up: Sherly and Liya
2nd runners-up: Kundana and Shoba
IBAK has finalized its plans to hold the Second Inter-School Tournament because the first one was an immense success as it saw the participation of close to a 100 students. The organizers added that they hope for a similar if not more enthusiastic participation.

Tournament Format:
a) Under-19 (Boys & Girls) Singles & Doubles
b) Under-16 (Boys & Girls) Singles & Doubles
c) Under-14 (Boys & Girls) Singles & Doubles
The organizers are requesting the schools to send the names of their teams in advance to the tournament director, Ajay Kumar (ajayibak@gmail.com). The organizers add the teams must wear their school jerseys. If there is no representation from any school, individual participants will be allowed to compete as a unified team with the credit going to the players themselves.

The Tournament Director is Noor Kalmatta (noor1kalmatta@yahoo.com) while the Tournament committee is based on Srinivas Sreedhara (chol007@yahoo.com), Saju Thomas (sajujtt@yahoo.com), Kundana Kishore (rushkishore@gmail.com) Giri Narayanan (nngiri@yahoo.com) and Abdul Raheem Abbas (kacraheem@yahoo.com)

By: Jose Gabriel

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