Western Australia Para: Teenager Puneyani Lands Maiden Title

Vaishnavi Puneyani, India’s upcoming 18-year-old SL4 player, stole the show at Western Australia Para Badminton International 2023 in Perth on Friday by stunning Leani Ratri Oktila 21-17 21-18 in the singles final.

That the youngster’s first international singles title came against the accomplished Oktila in straight games made her achievement even more impressive.

Puneyani, who made her circuit debut last year, previously only had success in doubles. She won the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles with Scotswoman Mary Margaret Wilson last year at the Uganda Para Badminton International, where she was also the SL4 singles runner-up. Puneyani added another silver medal in the category at Indonesia Para Badminton International 2023 four weeks ago.

Oktila, the 2019 world champion in SL4 singles, made up for the disappointment by taking the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles with Khalimatus Sadiyah, beating Manashi Joshi/Thulasimathi Murugesan 22-24 21-19 21-17.

Indonesia won five more gold medals in SH6 women’s singles (Rina Marlina), SH6 mixed doubles (Marlina/Subhan Subhan), SL4 men’s singles (Fredy Setiawan), SU5 men’s singles (Dheva Anrimusthi) and SL3 women’s singles (Syakuroh Qonitah Ikhtiar) to top the overall medal table.

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