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  Rutaparna, Swetaparna win international silver medal
17 Jul 2022

Playing their first final together in a World Badminton Federation (BWF) tournament, Odisha star shuttler Rutaparna Panda and her younger sister Swetaparna Panda won the womens doubles silver medal in the Saint-Denis Reunion Open 2022 International Challenge in Saint-Denis Reunion today.

The Odisha duo settled for the silver medal after losing to German pair of Annabella Jaeger and Leona Michalski 21-13, 18-21, 18-21 in the final match that lasted for one hour and 12 minutes.

The Panda sisters played their first match in the quarterfinals after getting bye in the first round and walk-over in the second. They beat Mauritius combination of Layna Luxmi Chiniah and Ganesha Mungrah 21-5, 21-2 in the quarterfinals to reach the last-four stage.


The Odisha siblings also registered a convincing win in the semifinals, trouncing another Mauritius pair of Lorna Bodha and Kobita Dookhee 21-8, 21-5. But in the final, they gave tough fight to the top-seeded Germans before losing by 1-2 games.

The silver medal in an open international tournament is sure to boost the morale of the Odisha sisters, who have been struggling to sustain their playing careers due to various reasons.

Rutaparna and Swetaparna made their presence felt in international level after developing their game at the Hyderabad-based Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy. But they left the academy of the former All-England champion and National coach last year with bitterness, the reasons of which are yet to be known.

Getting no support from any quarters, the bloosoming careers of the beleaguered shuttlers seemed to be in jeopardy. But the brave girls chose not to give up and continued to work with greater determination at an ordinary court, set up by their father Ramachandra Panda in a village, closer to their residence in Cuttack city.

Playing national and international doubles events together, the duo suffered defeats in some tournaments initially, but kept on improving their standard. The hardwork and determination finally bore fruit with the silver medal at the Saint-Denis Reunion Open today. Meanwhile, the Cuttack-based sisters are said to have joined the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru.
PHOTOS: Rutaparna and Swetaparna with their runners-up trophies in Saint-Denis, Reunion on 17 July 2022.


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