Diya Chitale
Diya Chitale
FPJ pic

Mumbai: Maharashtra’s talented paddler Diya Chitale produced a steady disciplined performance and cashed in on the chances to quash the challenge from Yashaswini Ghorphade of Karnataka and retain her crown as the youth girls champion, in the UTT 82nd Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships, in Indore recently.

The 17-year-old Diya, who is affiliated to The Suburban Table Tennis Association (TSTTA), and the defending champion showed great character, a high-level of confidence and spirited fighting qualities as she came from behind to overcome Yashaswini in seven interesting games, winning at 4-3 (8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 5-11, 11-8 and 11-2).

There was more joy for Maharashtra as Swastika Ghosh clinched her maiden junior girls single title defeating Haryana’s Suhana Saini 4-2 in the final. Swastika started hesitantly and lost the opening two games as the Haryana opponent Suhana enjoyed a solid 2-0 cushion. But, Swastika, not prepared to give up without a fight bounced back strongly and went on to win the next four games on the trot to complete a deserving 7-11, 11-13, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6 and 11-9 victory.

The youth girls’ final was an absorbing contest. The Karnataka paddler Yashaswini and Mumbai’s Diya were engaged in a grim battle for supremacy and the scores ran close before the former managed to take a 3-2 lead and was within distance of victory. However, Diya rose to the challenge and after trailing initially in the sixth game she managed to win it and force the seventh game. In the decider Diya made her intentions clear from the start and with some clever play and combined by errors from her rival she raced to an 8-0 lead before going on to quickly win the game and complete a satisfying triumph.

Earlier, in the semi-finals, Diya proved too good for Uttar Pradesh’s Radhapriya Goel winning in straight games at 11-8, 11-8, 11-4 and 11-9, while Yashaswini got the better of Maharashtra’s Anannya Basak 7-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8 and 11-4.

In the junior girls’ semi-finals, Swastika sidelined Delhi’s Lakshita Narang in six games winning at 13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 5-11, 11-3 and 11-5, while Suhana Managed to overcome Nithyashree Mani (TTTA) 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8 and 11-4.

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