A table tennis match during championship
A table tennis match during championship

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The national ranking points Snehit accumulated in 2019 weighed heavily against Haryana's Jeet Chandra when the seedings of the Youth Boys section of the UTT 82nd Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships were decided here at Abhay Prashal on Tuesday.

Manush Shah, another hard-hitting left-hander from Gujarat, is seeded fourth and is likely to meet fifth seed Raegan Albuquerque from Maharashtra in the quarters. Manush, who is just five points behind Snehit, did not play the nationals owing to shoulder injury he suffered during the Central Zone National ranking championships at Bhavnagar. He could have been one of the title contenders at Jammu, but the pullout marred his chances.

In comparison, semi-finalist Parth Virmani from Delhi, quarterfinalist Deepit Rajesh Patil from Maharashtra, and pre-quarterfinalist Payas Jain form the bottom half, where defending champion Snehit is placed. In other words, Payas and Snehit are not expected to meet each other before the quarterfinals, like Parth and Deepit Patil. But anything can happen with players like Wesley Do Rosario of Haryana, Ishaan Hingorani of Gujarat, H. Jeho from Mizoram, and Jayabrata Bhttacharjee of Bengal floating around to sting at the first opportunity. All in all, riveting contests are promised from the second-round upward.

Ishaan Hingorani, despite losing the last-round match 2-3, qualified from Group 9 to hold the top spot. Rakshit Mohala of Punjab, his challenger, was in no way expected to win and was trailing 1-2. However, he made use of several unforced errors by his rival to win the last two games. Yet, he could not make it to the main draw.Kerala’s Amir Afthab dashed the hopes of Divyansh Srivastava of UP when he beat the latter to enter the second-stage draw. The 3-2 verdict became possible when the Kerala boy levelled the score 2-2. In the decider, a shaky UP lad let the opportunities slip away, making it easy for Amir.

Agniv Bhaskar, too, struggled before overcoming his Punjab rival. In a touch-and-go match, the last two games proved rather crucial for the Assam boy.In the Junior Boys matches, Vishal Raj from Bihar impressed everyone. He was down 0-2 but staged a fine recovery to win the third game 14-12 and from there the next two games. From among the 40 group winners, a few fortunate ones will get first-round byes, along with the eight seeded players.

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