KUWAIT CITY, Feb 26: The IBAK Pizza Hut tournament 2018 was full of excitement and all the competitors vied for supremacy to book their places on the podium.
The two-day tournament which was played at the IBAK Salwa Gym was one of a multitude of events within the national elite circuit, saw tough competition — losses and spirited wins. For the organizers, the tournament witnessed by close to 400 people, was a resounding success.
Taking part in the tournament were many of Kuwait’s most elite participants representing clubs and areas.
The event was inaugurated by the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait HE K. Jeeva Sagar.
This being the first tournament of the calendar year, many of the participants took their game to the next level to begin 2018 with a place on the podium.
The following are the complete results: Flight 1—Men’s Doubles Professional, often referred to as the showcase event in the sport, offered up one of the most thrilling finishes the 10-year running event has ever seen.
The sheer pace and skill at this event was arguably second to none for spectators to witness over the course of the weekend.
On Friday, the final day of the tournament, the scores posted leading up to the final match were too close to predict which team would emerge victorious.
In the Flight 1 Men’s Doubles Professional category, although initially it was difficult to predict who would carry the day, Aneef Latheef and Bastain James defeated Sayooj Ajaykumar and Ezzi Hisham 21-19, 21-12.
In the Flight 2 — Men’s Doubles Advanced pair, Joby Mathew and Rahul Chandra who played hard throughout the week to earn a place in the finals and in spite of a strong performance won the second spot.
They were beaten by Stegin and Vysakh Joshy 21-9, 21-15.
In the Flight 3 — Open Doubles Intermediate event, Jose Mathew and Varghese Ajai made it to the Championship Final, but lost to Ajoy Felix and Sureshkumar Marlapudi 22-20, 9-21, 21-19.
In Flight 4 — Open Doubles Lower Intermediate Category, Sivanarayan Reddy and Sarvat Shafi had to overcome the tough challenge from Crispin Prabhakar and Jay Shah.
They won by 20-22, 22-23 margin in what is seen as a battle between budding talents.
The IBAK academy can proudly proclaim that these flowering buds will someday achieve greater heights. The vigorous training and dedication of these young coaching students has finally paid off.
And in 40+ Men Doubles, it was Anai Kumar and Prakash Melpadom who beat Mohammed Shameer and Mohammed Yasser in the finals to clinch the first place 21-11 21-14 showcasing the immense stamina and skill throughout the tournament to underline the fact that age never matters on the court.
The 2018 Pizza Hut Master Cup tournament saw the likes of Sayooj Ajaykumar emerge as one of the weekend’s champions in separate events on the court. In Men’s Singles he overpowered Ezzi Hisham (21-16, 18-21, 8-21).
This youngster smashed all the ranked professional players and stood No. 1, thereby showing his mettle and the efforts of IBAK coaching efforts that promises a bright future for his professional career.
He is currently associated with the Prakash Padukone Academy in India.
IBAK has been the pioneer association promoting and showcasing badminton among all the badminton lovers in Kuwait irrespective of nationalities and also in providing a professional platform for ingraining the sport of badminton in the willing young ones, for close to a decade.
The association which holds the pride of being the only one in Kuwait to be associated with the Kuwait Badminton Federation, the appellate body in the country which in turn is an associate of the Badminton Asia Confederation, that governs the sport in the Asian Continent. IBAK extends their sincere thanks to Kout Food Group (Pizza Hut) for sponsoring the Master Cup tournament in two consecutive years.
IBAK has scheduled 8 more high intensity and top level competitions for the rest of the year and is set to spread its activities across Kuwait with more branches shortly being added on to its already established fan base. For more details please visit the IBAK website at www.ibakwt.org.
By Paul Francis X. Fernandes
Arab Times Staff