Indore (Madhya Pradesh): The start of Junior and Youth Girls singles in the UTT 82nd Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships, at Abhay Prashal, will take the Table Tennis Federation of India closer to accomplishing the task unblemished amidst the fear of a spike in Covid-19 cases.
At the end of it, the Federation and the organisers, Madhya Pradesh Table Tennis Association, would have amply proved that sports events can after all be conducted even during the pandemic period, provided SOPs and protocols are followed to the T.
After four days of action from the girls—the last two days are crucial—the 2020 season will wind up with the emergence of two new champions, or a single paddler claiming both titles! Diya Chitale from Maharashtra, the defending champion in both categories, can make that happen.
The 16-year-old from Mumbai has many qualities. And the best among them is her never-say-die attitude. The youngster is capable of repeating her performances. But she will face strong opposition in top-ranked Prapti Sen from West Bengal, Anusha Kutumbale from MP, Surabhi Patwari from Bengal, Selenadeepthi Selvakumar from Tamil Nadu, and Swastika Ghosh from Maharashtra, to name a few. There are others as well who could pose problems. But Diya is wary of the pitfalls on her way.In the Junior Girls, the list is even longer. Top-ranked Maharashtra rival Swastika Ghosh, followed by Vanshik Bhargava from Delhi, Yashaswini Ghorpade from Karnataka, Munmun Kundu from Bengal, Lakshita Narang, also from Delhi, Anargaya Manjunath, again from Karnataka, Nithyashree Mani from Tamil Nadu, Radhapriya Goel from UP, and Prithoki Chakraborti, who is a TTFi wildcard entrant—all of them will be breathing down Diya’s throat.
A few of these players had their first brush with a tournament, after a long layoff, during the Senior Nationals held at Panchkula in February. Diya, too, was one of the contestants, reaching the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals. So, most of these players from the bunch would feel better and can hit it off straight away in the main draw.However, one cannot rule out the surprise element or a dark horse emerging from the championships in either category.
Competition Manager N. Ganeshan and chief referee Mangesh Mopkar have laid out a workable schedule for all concerned. Twelve Stag America’s tables and Stag Supreme balls will be in use during the championships. The chief referee will have support from about 50 Blue Badge and international umpires.The events open at 10 am on Saturday
Om Soni, Jayesh Acharya honoured
Madhya Pradesh Table Tennis Association President Om Soni and general secretary Jayesh Acharya were honored at Abhay Prashal after being elected as vice-president and joint secretary OF Indian Table Tennis Federation , respectively. Om Soni, who became the secretary of Madhya Pradesh Table Tennis Organization for the first time in 1987, elected as vice-president of the Federation and Jayesh Acharya has held the post of associate secretary for the second time in a row. It is worth mentioning that after a long gap, two top officials of the state got prominent positions in the Indian Table Tennis Federation.
Indore District Table Tennis Association organized a function in which Snigdha Mehta, Santosh Kaushik, Pramod Soni, Ajit Lalwani, Atul Jhamad, Yogendra Kimati, Sapan Nahata, Akhilesh Jain, Prateek Jain, Yogendra Singh Chauhan, RC Marya, Madhur Sharma, P R. Vagaskar, Saurabh Shah, Prashant Mahant, Anil Bargal, Rajendra Tiwari, Prashant Vyas, Gagan Chandrawat, Nilesh Pardeshi and officials attended.
Arjuna Awardee Manjit Dua, N. Ganesan, Executive Chairman of Indore Table Tennis Trust, Vinay Chhajlani, Sudha Soni, Sunita Chhajlani, Rinku Acharya, Pramod Gangarade, Alok Khare, Gaurav Patel and Shirish Bhagwat were also present on the occasion. Neelesh Ved, secretary of the IDTTA , conducted the programme while vote of thanks was proposed by Narendra Sharma.