Table Tennis
Table Tennis

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Unseeded Radhapriya Goel raised her game a notch better to enter the youth girls semi-finals, beating Suhana Saini 4-3 in the UTT 82nd Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships at Abhay Prashal here Monday.

The UP girl, who suffered a pre-quarterfinal loss in the Junior Girls at the hands of the Haryana paddler, was able to exact a sweet revenge. Radhapriya, who led 3-1, failed to control when she let Suhana claw her way back to level the score. Luckily for the UP paddler, Suhana’s unforced errors at crucial junctures made her job much easier.

Others that booked their semi-final berths included defending champion Diya Chitale, who beat Selenadeepthi Selvakumar 4-1, Anannya Basak, who stopped Taneesha Kotecha, won 4-3, and Yashaswini Ghorpade accounted for second-seed and local girl, Anusha Kutumbale 4-1.If Diya and Yashaswini did not face much of a problem in their matches, Anannya was full of it. Taneesha, also from Maharashtra and who has had a dream run, showed rare tenacity to stretch the sixth seed. It was only in the decider that she botched up more than a bit that allowed Anannya the leeway.

Nithya fights it out

Top-seed Swastika Ghosh had no noticeable flaws when she put it across Anargya Manjunath from Karantaka 4-1. Tamil Nadu’s Nithyashree made up for her Youth Girls loss with a fine win over her statemae Hrithika Selvakumar in the quarterfinal that went the full distance. After leading 3-0, Nithya conceded the next three before overpowering Hrithika in the decider to go through.In the other quarterfinals, Delhi’s Lakshita Narang ensured herself a medal when she ousted Taneesha Kotecha of Maharashtra 4-2 and Suhana Saini cleaned up Karnataka’s Yashaswini 4-1 in the quarters. Taneesha who did well until that stage could not take her confidence into the quarterfinals against the Delhi girl, who proved too strong for her. The Karnataka girl proved no match to the Haryana girl, who was nicely warmed up for the occasion.

Tight matches

Of the eight seeds, only four survived to move into quarterfinals as Prapti Sen, Deepika Neelakandan from the top-half, and Surbhi Patwari and Swastika Ghosh from the bottom-half became casualties. The worst-hit of them all was the top-seed Prapti, who went down to Haryana’s Suhana Saini 3-4.

Suhana did the impossible twice over, first in the Junior Girls Round of 32 when she accounted for Delhi’s Tisha Kohli to win 3-2, and then against Prapti, 4-3. On both occasions, her opponents held solid match-points, leading 10-8. Both times, Suhana kept her nerves intact and came out winners.Suhana should have won the match against the top-seed hands down when she led 3-2 and held a couple of match points in the sixth game itself. But Prapti seized her moments to sew it up 12-10 and level the score. There were moments when the Bengal girl, leading 8-6 and 10-8, should have pulled the shutters down on the Haryana girl. But the determination of Suhana stood out as she focused well to deny Prapti the chance.

Anusha Kutumbale, who was down 1-2, made a nice comeback to withstand Haryana’s defensive Anjali Rohilla to win 4-2. Despite the turnaround in the third game for Anjali, the MP girl wrapped it up without falling into her opponent’s trap.Maharashtra’s Taneesha Kotecha’s efforts were praiseworthy. She was buried deep at 0-3, but she pulled herself out of the depth to outwit Shreya Deshpande of the Railways 4-3.

Three seeds fell in the Junior Girls, and the biggest of them to bow out was Vanshika Bhargava, the second seed. Maharashtra’s Sayali Wani accounted for the Delhi girl 3-2 in the previous round. Young Sayali is, incidentally, the winner of the Sub-Junior Girls crown.Unseeded Taneesha Kotecha consumed fourth-seed Munmun Kundu in straight games, while sixth-seed Radhapriya Goel fell to unseeded Suhana Saini 3-2 in a tough pre-quarterfinal.

Vibhuti Sharma wins table tennis title

Indore: Vibhuti Sharma won title in table tennis organized under the annual Sports Festival of the Indore Sports Writers’ Association (ISPORA) at Abhay Prashal recently.

In an interesting final, Vibhuti defeated Rafi Mohammed Sheikh. Earlier in the semifinal, Vibhuti defeated Anil Tyagi while Sheikh defeated Narendra Bhale. The matches were started in the hospitality of president Om Soni. On this occasion, Nilesh Ved and Secretary Vikas Pandey were also present.

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