Abu Dhabi: Indian national players Valiyaveetil Diju and Aditya Prakash picked up two titles each at the 36th ISC Apex Badminton open elite series, which concluded at the India Social Centre courts at the weekend.
Bengaluru-based Prakash overcame Heri Setiwan 21-10, 21-17 in the men’s singles final. Then, in partnership with Diju, one of India’s top doubles players, he won the men’s doubles crown. The pair beat Heri Setiwan and Jaffer Ebrahim of Bahrain in straight sets 21-9, 21-10.
It was Diju who ended Prakash’s hopes of a treble when, in partnership with Agna Anto, he picked up his second title by winning the mixed doubles. Diju and Anto beat Prakash and Beverly Pablo 21-14, 17-21, 21-7, in the only final which went to three games.
There was some consolation for Pablo as she won the women’s doubles with Jolyin Rodil. The duo got the better of Anto and Rihana Abdul Latif 21-18, 21-17.
Speaking to Gulf News after the event, Prakash said: “I just decided to keep forcing my opponent into making mistakes. I lost to him a couple of seasons back in an event in Bahrain.
“I am happy I came here and this is a very nice event. I hope to be back here again.”
Thirty-two-year-old Diju, in partnership with Jwala Gutta, is the reigning national mixed doubles champion and the pair are currently No 7 in the world.
“This is my first visit to Abu Dhabi and I thank the ISC officials for inviting us,” he said afterwards.
ISC President Thomas John said: “This is the oldest event here in the UAE and this year we took it to a new level with so many international players in the fray. This event will be bigger next year.”
About 600 players took part in the two-phase championship, which was being held for the 36th successive year.