ALL THE CHAMPIONS... The teams make a happy picture
ALL THE CHAMPIONS... The teams make a happy picture

Mumbai: Mumbai Suburban District and Thane (MSDT) paddlers proved they are the best in business in the Maharashtra State & Inter District Table Tennis Championship, with nine gold medals at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune, recently.

Thane’s Siddhesh Pande led the medal hunt winning the men’s singles after picking up a comprehensive victory over Hrishikesh Malhotra of MSD in straight games. Seeded third in tournament, Siddhesh was at his menacing best as he easily overcame Hrishikesh 4-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-5, 11-9) for the gold.

Diya Chitale (MSD), one of the brightest young talents in the country punched above her weight to bag the gold in the women’s singles after registering a 4-1 (11-7,11-5,9-11,12-10,11-9) victory over the top seeded and her fellow district-mate Srushti Haleangadi.

Diya was equally impressive in the junior girls’ event as well and picked up the gold with a sublime 4-0 (11-8, 17-15, 11-8, 11-8) victory over third seeded Pritha Vartikar of Pune.

In the junior boys’ category it was fourth seeded Deepit Patil of Thane who came back from behind to beat Shounak Shinde of Air India 4-1 (10-12,11-3,11-7,11-4,11-7) in the final, while in a clash of top seeds, Rajveer Shah(2) of MSD beat Aadil Anand (1) of MSD 4-1 (11-5,11-6,14-16,11-8,11-1) to win the sub-junior boys’ title.

MSD’s duo of Chinmaya Somaiya and Annanya Basak stole the show in the youth boys’ and girls’ contest cornering the gold after picking up hard-fought victories against their respective opponents. Chinmaya (1) was stretched to the limits by the second seeded Shubham Ambre of MCD but he held on to his nerves to eke out a narrow 4-3 (11-9,5-11,9-11,7-11,11-4,11-6,11-6) win, while Annanya (1) also had to stave off a strong challenge from Srushti Haleangadi to win 4-2 (10-12,12-10,11-8,12-10,9-11,11-6).

Meanwhile, in the cadet boys’ category, Hriday Deshpande (2) of Thane got the better of Pranav Gholkar (4) of Pune 4-1 (11-6,9-11,11-4,11-3,11-5) to corner the gold while top seeded Riana Bhoota of Thane walloped Naisha Rewaskar (2) of Pune 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-8) to win the midget girls’ title.

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