Saturday, March 2, 2024

Odisha Masters 2023 kicks off in Cuttack; event open to public, entry free – N.F Times

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Masters 2023 kicked off today at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack. Recognised as one of Asia’s premier competitions, the tournament boasts a substantial prize pool of USD 100,000 and is also categorised as a BWF Tour Super 100 event.

Day 1 of Odisha Masters 2023 saw players in action from over 30 countries. The matches were played in five categories – Men’s Single, Women’s Single, Men’s Mixed Double, Women’s Mixed Double, and Mixed Double.

Isharani Baruah (India) triumphed over Indonesia’s Mutiara Ayu Puspitasari 25-23, 21-17 in Women’s Single. In Men’s Single, Varun Kapur (India), who is seeded 8th in the tournament got a walkover from Ansal Yadav (India). In another epic Women’s Single clash, Likhita Srivastava (India) outplayed her opponent from Uganda Gladys Mbabazi with a score of 21-11, 21-14.

Coming to Mixed Doubles, Nithin HV and Chayanit Joshi (India) registered their win over Zhakuo Seyie and Vedant Sharma (India) by 21-10, 21-15. Shriyanshi Valishetty (India) registered her win over Janani Ananathakumar (India) with a score of 21-16, 8-21, and 21-17. In another interesting fixture, Tushar Gagneja paired with Balkeshari Yadav (India) was outplayed by Sumeeth Reddy and Ashith Surya 21-19, 21-16.

Fans can come to the stadium and watch their favourite players in action at the JN Indoor Stadium as it is free entry for everyone, a BWF spokesperson informed.

Sports Secretary Vineel Krishna said, “We are hosting Odisha Masters in Cuttack. Badminton is a priority for us and we have undertaken several measures for the holistic development of the game. We have top-class players from over 30 countries who are playing in Odisha. This competition will be an excellent platform for budding athletes to strive for the highest level of the game. We look forward to hosting more international events in Odisha in the coming years.”

Competition manager Vivek Saraf spoke about the importance of this tournament. He expressed, “The level of the players taking part in the tournament is very high so the competition between them is exciting to watch. This tournament is Super 100 Series Tournament and the points that you earn, it will help them participate in bigger leagues. Badminton in India is coming in a big way. India has been producing phenomenal badminton players like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Chirag Shetty, among others. Players from 30 countries are participating in this tournament. I am looking forward to the action on the court from these players.”

Rutaparna Panda, who hails from Odisha and is participating in the tournament spoke about her experience of playing in this tournament. She said, “We played three matches today. I loved every minute of playing at the JN Indoor Stadium. It feels great to play here as it is my first international tournament in Odisha. I see a lot of young kids playing badminton in Odisha now and it makes me happy. I am sure that going forward, Odisha should host more international tournaments as it will help the young kids in getting good exposure and playing against international players.”

MD and CEO Puneet Dalmia of Dalmia Bharat Limited talked about the importance of the tournament. He said, “We are delighted to witness the return of the Odisha Masters to Cuttack this year. The partnership with the Odisha government and the Badminton Association of India reflects our shared commitment to promoting the essence of badminton – a sport that embodies focus, endurance, and integrity. We extend our best wishes to all the players participating in the tournament.”

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