Kashyap clinched his first international title in three years in Austria

Vastavam web: Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap clinched his first international title in over three years as he overcame Malaysia s June Wei Cheam to emerge men’s singles champion at the Austrian Open International Challenge.Kashyap, a former National champion and second seed, saw off Cheam 23-21 21-14 in a 37-minute clash late last night.His last title came at the Syed Modi International Badminton Championships in 2015.

The 31-year-old Indian, who had reached the finals of US Open Grand Prix Gold last year, looked in good touch throughout the tournament as he didn’t drop a single game en route the title.The final, however, was not a cakewalk as world number 126 Cheam matched Kashyap in the first game, which went down to the wires. In the end, the Indian, ranked 44, had to save three game points before pocketing the first game.”My fitness was at the top level this week and I was able to push them and they cracked. I have been lacking in confidence of late, so this tournament gave me that confidence to pull off those tight matches where you are down by a couple of points,” he said.

“I was down in the semifinals, quarterfinals and also in the finals but I didn’t panic and could pull off the matches. In final, I was leading 18-15 then he pushed the pace and changed his strategy. But I could recover and stop him. I didn’t rush in end stages. I was in my comfort zone. So it was a new approach to the tournament.”