Bengaluru Paddler claims Three Medals At Nationals
Archana Kamath proved wiser than Manav Thakkar in more ways than one in the 11Sports 79th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships that concluded at the Sidhu Kanu Indoor Stadium here today.
Archana made her choices right and concentrated on the two singles titles. Her priority was winning Junior Girls crown, the category she belongs to, while trying her hands at Youth Girls.
In the first final she beat Surbhi Patwari 4-3 and in the second, the Bengaluru girl downed last year’s winner, Moumita Datta 4-1to take home a huge purse as well as the gleaming trophies. “My moves paid off. I am happy to be back where I belong to,” said Archana after the two title triumphs.
On the other hand, world No. 2 Manav made a mess and failed to retain the Junior Boys crown as Jeet Chandra, also from PSPB, emerged the new champion when he triumphed 4-2 over last year’s winner in the final. Manav, however, retained Youth Boys title beating Ronit Bhanja of West Bengal 4-0 in the final. The West Bengal paddler was no match to the hungry Manav, who had to make amends for the Junior title loss.
But it was a contrasting win for Archana against Moumita, to whom the former had lost in quarterfinals at Vadodara. Archana, after the Junior Girls victory, kept her cool and played brilliantly. Except for the second game, in which Moumita relaunched herself, the West Bengal girl was ill at ease against the confident Archana, her backhand down-the-line shots benefiting her the most.
Manav was probably jaded having to play the entire day from quarter-finals in four events—Junior Boys and Youth Boys singles and doubles as did most others and they must have taken a heavy toll on him. That is where he erred, unable to pick and choose his events like Archana did.
Archana Kamath was leading 3-0 and before she could think of wrapping it up, Surbhi fought well to give sufficient worries to the PSPB girl, who is also the holders of the title in Junior Girls. The West Bengal girl gained in confidence with every game win and it showed even in the decider.
With the two finalists separate by a few points, the snake and ladder game continued for a while before Archana saying enough is enough to shut out her opponent in the nick of time and winning with minimal margin.
Manav, on the other hand, could not retain his Junior Boys title after he went down to a superior Jeet Chandra 3-4, who deserving became the national champion. Jeet was equally aggressive and replying in the same vein as Manav did. Blending guile and stroke, Jeet posed enormous trouble for Manav, who missed even easy counters. The 3-1 lead proved to be trigger for Jeet who pressed on the gas pedal, despite conceding the fifth game, for his maiden national crown in junior category.
There was no twist in the tale as favourites entered the finals of both Junior Boys and Junior Girls singles. Manav Thakkar humiliated Manush Shah of Gujarat 4-0, while Jeet Chandra took an extra game to achieve results against Anukram Jain of PSPBA. As for Junior Girls, Archana Kamath downed Telangana’s Varuni Jaiswal after dropping a game while Surbhi Patwari of West Bengal thrashed North Bengal’s Nikita Sarkar 4-0 despite getting extended in the first two games.
In Youth Boys, Manav rolled over teammate Jeet Chandra 4-0 to earn a final meeting with Ronit Bhanja of West Bengal. Ronit took no time to clean up Sanish Ambekar of Maharashtra 4-0 with Sanish completely outplayed by his opponent.
At least one semifinal decision came in six games with Tamil Nadu’s Seleana going down to West Bengal’s Moumita Dutta after putting up a brave front. The match could have gone either way if Seland had made fewer mistakes than Moumita, particularly in the sixth game which Moumita won 14-12 to seal her rival’s fate. In the other semifinal, Archana toyed with Maharashtra’s Swastika Ghosh before claiming a 4-0 verdict.
Prapti Sen, the top seed in Youth Girls and Junior Girls, made amends for her early exit in both events with a title win in Junior Girls doubles after combining with Surbhi Patwari. They beat statemates Poymantee Baisya and Premangi Ghosh 3-0 in the final. The Youth Girls doubles crown went to the Maharashtra pair of Swastika Ghosh and Srushti Haleangadi who beat RBI’s top duo Ayhika Mukherjee and Priyadarshini Das 3-2.
In Youth Boys and Junior Boys, Manav was the common factor as he combined with Siddesh Pande to defeat Gujarat’s Manush Shah and Ishaan Hingorani 3-0 and then in the company of Chinmaya Somaiya downed Telagana duo of SFR Snehit and Mohammad Ali 3-0 to claim both doubles titles.
Junior Girls: Final: Archana Kamath (PSPB) Surbhi Patwari (WB) 12-10, 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 8-11, 7-11, 11-6; Semifinals: Surbhi Patwari bt Nikita Sarkar (NB) 12-10, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7; Archana Kamath bt Varuni Jaiswal (TELG) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9.
Doubles Final: Prapti Sen-Surbhi Patwari (WB) bt Poymantee Baisya-Premangi Ghosh 11-9, 12-10, 11-7.
Junior Boys: Final: Jeet Chandra (PSPB) bt Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 11-6, 4-11, 12-10, 11-4, 3-11, 11-9; Semifinals: Manav Thakkar bt Manush Shah (GUJ) 11-7, 11-5, 11-8, 11-1; Jeet Chandra bt Anukram Jain (PSPBA) 11-7, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10.
Doubles Final: Manav Thakkar-Chinmaya Somaiya (PSPB) bt SFR Snehit-Mohammad Ali (TELG) 11-9, 12-10, 11-6.
Youth Girls: Final: Archana Kamath (PSPB) bt Moumita Dutta (WB) 11-4, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4; Semifinals: Archana Kamath bt Swastika Ghosh (MHR) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10; Moumita Dutta bt Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN) 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6, 14-12.
Doubles Final: Swastika Ghohs-Srushti Haleangadi (MHR) bt Ayhika Mukherjee-Priyadarsini Das (RBI) 11-2, 4-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-9.
Youth Boys: Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Ronit Bhanja (WB) 12-10, 11-4, 12-10, 11-8; Semifinals: Ronit Bhanja bt Sanil Ambekar (MHR) 11-1, 11-9, 11-1, 11-6; Manav Thakkar bt Jeet Chandra (PSPB) 11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-3.
Doubles Final: Manav Thakkar-Siddesh Pande (PSPB) bt Manush Shah-Ishaan Hingoani (GUJ) 11-2, 11-8, 11-7.
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