Event Section
Fancied players move into pre-quarterfinals


Alappuzha, November 29: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board’s Abhishek Yadav and the top-seed showed a clear intention of his game plan and form in the Youth Boys singles when he moved into the pre-quarterfinals of the 76th Junior National and Youth Table Tennis Championships at the Radha Convention Centre here today.


Yadav, who was a semifinalist in the last edition at Guwahati, lost to the eventual winner G. Sathiyan, who is not competing here.  


The southpaw defeated Gujarat’s qualifier Hash Sachanandani 3-1 (6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8) while No 2 Sudhanshu Grover, also of the PSPB beat Abhilash Bora of Assam 3-1 (12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6) even as other top eight players joined them in the last-16 stages. But it was a bit of struggle for Sanish Ambekar, who was a star in Maharashtra’s Youth Boys team title, as Karantaka’s Akshay Mahanta stretched him the full distance. In the end, Ambekar won 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 to move a state up. But Ravindra Kotiyan had no such problem, beating Tamil Nadu’s Divakar Kishore 13-11, 11-8, 11-4 as did Delhi’s Utkarsh Gupta who downed Gujarat’s Soham Pandya 11-3, 11-5, 11-6.


In the Youth Girls section, seeded and known players had it easy as PSPB’s Manika Batra, Reeth Rishya, Senhora D’Souza and Archana Kamath, AAI’s Amrita Pushpak, Gujarat’s Fremaz Chipia, West Bengal’s Rupsa Bhattacharya and Trisha Das, Maharashtra’s Mallika Bhandarkar, Charvi Kawle, Shireen Inamdar, Rutuja Khopkar and Srushti Halengadi, Telangana’s Varuni Jaiswal, Tamil Nadu’s Abhinaya Ramesh, Kerala’s Mariya Rony moved into the pre-quarterfinals.


Except for a few matches, where the winners were stretched at the adjacent hall, the rest eased past their challengers without any trouble. Gujarat’s Frenaz had to fight it out against Tamil Nadu’s S. Sathiyamoorthy.3-2. After losing the first game to the Tamil Nadu girl, Frenaz really fought well to win the second at 15-13 and took the lead in the next. However, the Gujarat girl lost the fourth only to regroup herself in the next for a 5-11, 15-13, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 win.


Similarly, Maharashtra B’s Shiren struggled before overcoming her Gujarat opponent Dwijal Trivedi 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6 and Delhi’s Riti Shankar, who is in the top 10, lost to Telangana’s Varuni Jaiswal 6-11, 12-14, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11. Riti did well to come back into the match after she was 0-2 down. But in the decider missed a crucial to allow Varuni go up and finish the match.


As for Kerala’s Maria Rony, it was easy against Delhi’s Aanchal Malhotra despite the latter taking a game off her Kerala rival. Maria won 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 for a pre-quarterfinal berth. Maharashtra’s Shrushti Halengadi resisted a determined Poulomi Das of AAI to win 11-9, 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5.  


In Junior Boys, Delhi’s Himanshu Jindal put it across West Begal’s Abhimanyu Mitra after being down by two games. The Delhi boy won 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-1. Yet another match that went down to the wire was between Shivam Shrivastava and Suresh Nikhil of Tamil Nadu in which the later won 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6 to enter the pre-quarterfinals. But the other matches were almost a one-sided affair with the fancied players going through to the next stage.