Alappuzha, November 28: If Team Maharashtra had been on a roll, it was a downswing of sorts for the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) at the 76th Junior National and Youth Table Tennis Championships at the Radha Convention Centre here today.
Maharashtra, who claimed the Junior Boys title after 25 years, made the Youth Boys crown their own, humiliating Delhi 3-0 in the final even as the PSPB Youth Girls just about managed to wrest the title-title holders West Bengal were ousted earlier-from a determined Maharashtra A team. PSPB won 3-2 in a battle that lasted nearly two hours.
After having busted the big bubble of PSPB in the semifinals yesterday, the two-man in-form army of Sanish Ambekar and Ravindra Kotiyan made Delhi sweat on a humid day for every point. But in the end, it was Maharashtra who emerged the champions after seven years. They had lost won at Surat when he beat Tamil Nadu in the final.
In fact, unseating PSPB was a difficult task and having accomplished it, Delhi was an easy prey to get killed. Sanish gave a fine start, Ravindra consolidated with yet another fine show only for Siddesh Pande, the promising youngster, to finish off in style. Delhi, however hard they tried, they could never match up with Maharashtra’s intensity.
As for the Youth Girls, it was a 50-50 case when the final started. Though Manika Batra gave PSPB a winning start, beating Mallika 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7, Reeth Rishya struggled against Charvi Kawle. The latter, showing good intent and running into a nice rhythm, did not allow any liberty to her PSPB rival. However, what gave a semblance of change to PSPB was the new-girl-on-the-block Archana Kamath Girish.
The latest entrant to the PSPB, the girl from Karnataka put it across Maharashtra’s weak link Ashlesha Trehan in straight games. But Charvi brought Maharashtra back on track with a wonderful match against Manika. Charvi, mixing cleverly her strokes, kept Manika engaged keeping the ball on the table. Manka, making far too many mistakes, wilted under pressure. But, in the end, it was left to Reeth who made up for the first singles loss by beating a visibly tired Mallika.
Yesterday, local girl Maria Rony missed a great opportunity of winning the Junior Girls singles crown, losing to Shruti Amrute of Maharashtra. Maria, who was also entered in the Youth Girls team events by Kerala, could not bear the burden of having to play too many matches and lost despite winning the first game in the final. But it must be said to the credit of Shruti who was in a zone of her own.
Youth Boys: Team Final: Maharashtra bt Delhi 3-0 (Sanish Ambekar bt Himashu Jindal 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, Ravindra Kotiyan bt Shivam Shrivastava 2-11, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, Siddhesh Pande bt Peeyush Prasad 13-11, 11-9, 11-5); Semifinals: Maharashtra A bt PSPBA 3-2 (Sanish Ambekar bt Birdie Boro 12-10, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8, Ravindra Kotiyan lost to Lalrin Puia 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 14-12, 10-12, Sanish/Ravindra bt Manav Thakkar/Birdie Boro 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10, Sanish Ambekar lost to Lalrin Puia 8-11, 8-11, 8-11, Ravindra Kotiyan bt Bidie Boro 11-9, 13-11, 11-8); Delhi bt West Bengal 3-1 (Utkarsh Gupta bt Hirakjyoti Pusilal 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-3, Himanshu Jindal bt Abhimanyu Mitra 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, Utkarsh/Himashu lost to Hirakjyoti/Abhimanyu 10-12, 5-11, 11-13, Utkarsh Gutpa bt Abhimanyu Mitra 11-4, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5).
Youth Girls: Team Final: PSPB bt Maharashtra A 3-2 (Manika Batra bt Mallika Bhandarkar 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7, Reeth Rishya lost to Charvi Kawle 11-6, 8-11, 4-11, 4-11, Archana Kamath bt Ashlesha Trehan 11-7, 11-6, 11-4, Manika Batra lost to Charvi Kawle 8-11, 11-13, 11-2, 8-11, Reeth Rishya bt Mallika Bhandarkar 14-12, 11-6, 11-4);Semifinals: Maharashtra A bt Telangana 3-2 (Charvi Kawle bt Mounika Manohar 13-15, 13-11, 11-6, 11-4, Mallika Bhanarkar bt Naina 13-15, 11-3, 11-8, 12-10, Ashlesha Trehan lost to Varuni Jaiswal 9-11, 10-12, 9-11, Charvi Kawle bt Naina 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-13, 11-5, PSPB bt Kerala 3-1 (Reeth Rishya lost to Maria Rony 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, Manika Batra bt Gia Anna George 11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, Senhora D’Souza bt Jasmine Sunny 11-6, 11-5, 13-11).
Junior Girls: Singles Final: ShrutiAmrute (MHA) bt Maria Rony (KER) 3-1 (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4, 11-5); Semifinals: Maria Rony bt Riti Shankar (DEL) 4-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7), Shruti Amrute bt Sreeja Akula 4-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6).
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