Kiran George, a rising Indian shuttler, won his second BWF World Tour Super 100 title on Sunday, hoisting the Indonesia Masters trophy with a hard-fought straight-game win over Japan's Koo Takahashi in the men's singles final.
The 23-year-old from Kochi, who won his first championship at the Odisha Open last year, defeated world No. 82 Takahashi in a 56-minute duel.
"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, the 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, trailed Takahashi 1-4 at the start of the match but gradually caught up with him at 8-8 before taking a two-point lead at the half. A close bout ensued before the Indian took an 18-15 advantage.
Takahashi gradually cut the score to 19-20 before the Indian won the first game.
After switching sides, the duo played in another close match, advancing together until 6-6, when Kiran gradually managed to move away16-11. Takahashi, on the other hand, kept breathing down his neck and managed to draw even at 19-19.
Kiran, on the other hand, held his composure to convert his second game point after wasting the first.
The world No. 50 is on his way to the final, defeated veteran Tommy Sugiarto 23-21, 16-21, 21-8, after earlier defeating Thailand's Panitchaphon Teeraratsakul, Japan's Takuma Obayashi, Singapore's Jia Wei Joel Koh, and Chinese Taipei's Huang Yu Kai.
"He has been playing well for a while now and I 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, the son of former national champion George Thomas, won the Odisha Open and the Polish Open last year while being runner-up at the Denmark Masters.
Kiran, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 43 in January of this year, demonstrated his brilliance by defeating top Chinese players Shi Yuqi and Weng Hongyang at the Thailand Open in May-June of this year.
(With PTI inputs)