India shuttler Kiran George claimed his second BWF World Tour Super 100 title, lifting the Indonesia Masters trophy with a straight-game win over Japan’s Koo Takahashi in the men’s singles final here on Sunday.
The 23-year-old from Kochi, who had won his maiden title at Odisha Open last year, beat the world No. 82 Takahashi 21-19, 22-20 in a 56-minute battle.
“It is an excellent win, it is about converting these chances and consistently playing well. Other players are young and equally good, so I’m quite pleased with him,” Vimal Kumar, director of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) and former chief national coach, told PTI.
“Now it is about not to relax but continue his preparation as he is travelling to Hong Kong. He has nothing to lose, so he should look to create upsets.”
Kiran, who trains at PPBA in Bangalore, fell 1-4 behind at the start of the match but slowly caught up with Takahashi at 8-8 before gaining a two-point lead at the interval. A tight fight ensued before the Indian jumped to an 18-15 lead.
Takahashi slowly reduced the deficit to 19-20 before the Indian sealed the opening game.
After the change of sides, the duo once again engaged in a close battle, moving together till 6-6 when Kiran slowly managed to move away 16-11. Takahashi, however, kept breathing down his neck and managed to draw parity at 19-19.
But Kiran kept his nerves to convert his second game point after squandering the first. On way to the final, the world No. 50 Kiran defeated veteran Tommy Sugiarto 23-21, 16-21, 21-8, while getting the better of Thailand’s Panitchaphon Teeraratsakul, Japan’s Takuma Obayashi, Singapore’s Jia Wei Joel Koh and Taiwan’s Huang Yu Kai in the earlier rounds.
“He has been playing well for a while now and I really feel Kiran, Mithun they are the next line of players. They needed to make a breakthrough by beating good players and it is a good sign that they are doing well,” Vimal said. “I feel once the seniors like HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth go out, they can be replaced by them.”
Kiran had reached a career high ranking of No. 43 in January this year.