Kashyap, Murgunde, Mutatkar, Pawar enter All India tourney

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Pune, Dec 11 (UNI) The cream of country's shuttlers, P Kashyap, Anand Pawar, Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar along with Trupti Murgunde, Aditi Mutatkar and Nikhil Kanetkar, have confirmed their entries and will be vying for honours in the All INDIA major ranking badminton tournament.

The tournament gets underway at Western India Enterprises (WIE) sports complex here from December 14 to 18.

The tournament, sponsored by Patni Computer systems, will be organized by the newly formed Poona District Sports Foundation (PDSF) under the auspices of Maharashtra Badminton Association (MBA) and Badminton Association of India (BAI).

Briefing reporters here today, Amit Parmar, Managing Trustee of the PDSF and the Chief Patron of the event V S Krishnan, Commissioner Customs and Excise, said a total prize money of Rs six lakhs will be on offer at this tournament. It will be also the first time ever Pune would be a witness to the five star shuttle tournament. Previously, the biggest prize money offered for a National tournament held in Pune about five years ago was Rs four lakhs.

The tournament, which has received over 274 entries, will be held in the Men's and Women's Singles and doubles Categories. Being a ranking tournament, the performance of players in this tournament will be considered for selection of Indian teams for Thomas / Uber cup and European circuit to be held during February-March 2008.

Famous Badminton player, Prakash Padukone has confirmed his presence in the city to inaugurate this tournament's Main draw starting on December 15, said Krishnan.

The finals and prize distribution ceremony to be held on December 18 will be attended by various eminent personalities.

The men's singles winner will be awarded Rs 64,000 while the runners up will be presented with Rs 32,000. The prize money will percolate down to the quarter finalists while the winners of the women's singles will be presented with a cheque of Rs 60,000 and the runner ups will receive Rs 30,000. The men's doubles winner will receive Rs 40,000 while the runner ups will be awarded Rs 20,000.

Uday Sane, an international referee said, ''A total of 142 entries have been received in the men's singles category while the main draw of 32 will include 22 direct entries, two wild carders and 8 qualifiers. Meanwhile the women's singles have 44 entries and will also have the main draw of 24 with 8 qualifiers and two wild carders.'' UNI

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