Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Divyansh Srivastava and Sarth Mishra of Uttar Pradesh outplayed West Bengal's Sujal Bainik and Bodhisatwa Chaudhury 3-1 to win the boys doubles gold, while Pritha Vartikar and Jennifer Varghese of Maharashtra stamped their authority over state-mates Taneesha Kotecha and Risha Mirchandani to take the yellow metal in the Girls' final of the Khelo India Youth Games on the third day at Abhay Prashal here Wednesday.
The UP duo lost the first game but did well to put that disappointment behind them to look ahead. It paid rich dividends as Divyansh and Sarath played well afterwards with excellent placements and great finishes. Left-handed Sujal could not make up as much as he would have wanted for Budhistawa but a few unforced errors compound their misery. In the all-Maharashtra Girls' doubles final, Pritha and Jennifer proved themselves as the No 1 pair to win the gold with an emphatic 3-0 verdict.
It was a clinical performance by the two, as they brushed aside the threat in the first game to complete the task with perfect understanding and sure of who among the two will attack and defend. They swapped their positions well, and it worked to their advantage. On the other hand, Taneesha and tall Risha lacked such coordination, the essential ingredient of a doubles contest.
At least one match went down to the wire in the Youth Girls semi-finals as Taneesha and Risha Mirchandani staged a fine recovery to push the Haryana pair of Suhana Saini and Prithoki Chakraborty after the two led 2-0 to play the bronze medal playoff.
The match seemed to head one way, but the Maharashtra duo changed the course, inching their way up. After levelling the score 2-2, their soaring confidence was reflected in the outcome when they finished in style. In other semi-final, Pritha Vartikar and Jennifer Varghese combined well to blank out Karnataka's Yashaswini Ghorpade and Anargaya Manjunath 3-0.
Even Divyansh Srivastava and Sarth Mishra led 2-0 before dropping a game and then overpowering Jash Modi-Neil Mulye combined from Maharashtra 3-1. Earlier in the quarterfinals, the UP pair got stretched by West Bengal's Praneet Bhaskar and Shankhadip Das. Yet, the UP boys withstood the pressure to see their rivals off the table. In the all-West Bengal semi-final, Sujal Banik and Bodhisatwa's initial struggle notwithstanding, the duo shocked Ankur Bhattacharjee and Soumyadeep Sarkar 3-0. Whatever resistance the latter combination offered in the first game came to nought as they wilted under constant pressure from their state-mates.
Karnataka girls win bronze
At 8-all in the decisive game, with the bronze medal playoff between Karnataka and Haryana evenly poised, Haryana's Prithoki Chakraborty made a blunder to rush with the shot of a highball. It missed the table and went out, giving Karnataka the edge. Yashaswini Ghorpade and Aanargaya Manjunath celebrated mildly and then took the last two points for a hug with the medal in their bags.
The Karnataka girls deserved the medal after extricating themselves twice from the depth as the Haryana pair, led by Suhana Saini, played better. With a timely counter and seizing the moment from two game points down in the second game, Karnataka restored parity to keep itself in the match with a fine finish in the fourth. Haryana held the advantage in the second game but Karnataka saved three game points and won the second game for a lifeline.
Bronze for Maharashtra
Maharashtra's Jash Modi and Neil Mulye thrashed West Bengal's Ankur Bhattacharjee and Soumyadeep Sarkar to win the bronze medal in the Boys' doubles. Right from the beginning, the Maharashtra boys played with better understanding while their rivals searched for the balls. Their inability to keep the ball on the table put paid to their ambitions.
The prize distribution of the competition took place in the presence of Mayor Pushyamitra Bhargava, Arjuna Awardee Sandhya Agarwal, Vikram Awardee Pramod Soni and Pasang Dorji of Arunachal Pradesh. On this occasion, vice president of Madhya Pradesh Olympic Association Om Soni, Secretary Digvijay Singh, Jayesh Acharya, Pramod Gangarade, Boxing Federation of India Secretary Hemant Kalita and Nilesh Ved were present.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)