ISLAMABAD   - Pakistan’s Mahoor Shahzad made huge upset in the semi-finals of the $9000 Pakistan International Series Badminton Tournament-2017, as she ousted Vietnam’s Thi Phuong Thuy Tran in straight games, played here at Liaqat Gymnasium on Saturday. 

Mahoor carries host nation’s hopes to win gold medal, while it will be international final for the men’s singles category as both Pakistanis bowed out in the semi-finals.  

It was all about Mahoor , who played out her heart to carry forward national flag. She won after almost 50 minutes of highly entertaining world class badminton on offer. The entire arena was buzzing with Mahoor name. After some anxious moments, Mahoor took the first game 23-21 but it was Thi Phuong, who took a commanding 16-9 lead in the second game. Mahoor was seemingly looking a bit tired and it was crowd, who done the trick for local girl. It was like magic, as Mahoor first level the game at 16-16 and then took 20-18 lead. It was a see-saw battle as both players exhibited top class smashes, drops and no one was ready to go down without a fight. Mahoor played some unbelievable drops, which were too good and hot to handle for Thi Phuong. As soon as Mahoor won the game 23-21, the entire arena lit up with Pakistan Zindabad slogans and fellow players and officials rushed to congratulate Mahoor for her outstanding victory. 

In the second semi-final, Sri Lankan Hasini Nausaka Ambalangodage beat Pakistani Sehra Akram 21-16 and 21-4. Sehra was no match to Nausaka, who was playing flawless badminton and never looked in any sort of bother. 

In the men’s singles semi-finals, Emre Lale beat Rizwan Azam 21-16 and 21-7, while in the second semi-final, Vietnam’s Duc Phat Le beat Pakistan’s M Irfan Saeed Bhatti 2-1 in highly tense battle. Irfan won the first game 21-17 but he lost next two games 12-21 and 12-21.  

In the men’s doubles semi-finals, M Rizwan/Kashif Sulheri beat M Atique/Awais Zahid 21-19 and 21-17. 

In the mixed doubles semi-final, Nepal’s duo of RatnajitTamang/Nangsal Tamang beat compatriots Bishnu Katwal/Sunayana Mukhiya 21-17 and 21-7.