Table tennis match in progress on Sunday
Table tennis match in progress on Sunday

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Yazhini Madhurakavi knocked Pritha Virtikar out of contention to sail into the Youth Girls main draw in the UTT 82nd Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships at the Abhay Prashal here Sunday. Pritha, a promising youngster from Pune, went out of sync against the Tamil Nadu girl after taking a 2-1 lead.

That was the chance Yazhini waited for before bouncing back to win the fourth with ease and the last, with some effort. It must have been a disappointing experience for the Maharashtra girl who reached the main draw last time in Jammu.

Kajol Ramjali of Andhra Pradesh qualified for the second stage, but not before facing resistance from Daman and Diu’s Shanaya Shah. The latter was down and out when she lost the first two games and fought back well to restore some balance. However, in the fifth game, she struggled to keep the ball on the table, helping her opponent right from the word go.

Radhika Sharma from Rajasthan proved too strong for Trisha Gogoi, a wildcard entrant. The latter, who is from Assam, led 2-1 but let off her Rajasthan rival off the hook to move in. Young Sayali Wani from Maharashtra was 0-2 down but managed to pick herself up in time to outsmart Tanzia Sharma, also a TTFI wildcard. Gujarat’s Aafrien Murad defeated Neha Kumari of Bengal, but not before the latter showed some defiance. Aafrien won the crucial fifth game to qualify.

Seeds feel at home

The open seeding draw in the morning made seeds feel at home. Prapti Sen, the top-ranked paddler, got the pride of place, while Anusha Kutumbale from MP followed suit, placed in the bottom half. Diya Chitale, the title-holder, finds herself placed in the fourth spot and is expected no resistance until the quarters, where she could meet fifth-seed Selenadeepthi from Tamil Nadu. Even Prapti Sen finds a good draw and, barring early hiccups, should go on to meet eighth seed Deepika Neelakandan in the last-eight stages, also from Tamil Nadu.

The MP girl and second-seed Anusha has a few tough opponents in her quarter—unseeded Yashini Shivashankar from the Railways and a chopper in Anjali Rohilla from Haryana and, finally, Swastika Ghosh, the seventh seed, from Maharashtra. For the third-seed Surbhi Patwari, it is equally difficult in the third quarter. She has four players -Jennifer Varghese, Shreya Deshpande, Nithyashree Mani, and Anannya Basak - who can change the complexion if they get going.During matches, Digvijay Singh, Secretary of the Madhya Pradesh Olympics Association introduced players.

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