Event Section
Higher-ranked Akaash, seeded Sreeja bow out


Dharamshala, November 28: Higher-ranked Akaash Nath of North Bengal suffered an unexpected exit when he was shocked by Jignesh Rahatwal of Maharashtra 3-2 in the Junior Boys singles’ main draw of the 77th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships at the Indoor Stadium here today.


Akaash Nath, who can beat the best in business on his day, was found wanting right from the word go when he won the first game on extended points. The struggle continued in the next two games as Jignesh took both easily. However, the North Bengal paddler came back strongly in the next to level the score. Yet, it was not enough as Jignesh surged ahead with a good lead before shutting his opponent out by minimal point in the decider.


Another West Bengal player, Abhimanyu Mitra struggled his way into pre-quarterfinals beating Ali Mohammad of Telangana 3-2 despite leading 2-0. Ali came back very well to level the score but did not have the firepower for the last burst in the final game, going down 7-11. Kerala’s Anas Irshad Mohammad shocked Maharashtra’s Ashwin Subramanian 14-12, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-7 to move in the last 16 stages.


In Junior Girls singles, it was a shocking exit for Airports Authority of India’s second seeded Sreeja Akula, who lost to Kushi Viswanath of Karnataka. The latter not only played without tension but executed fine strokes and employed fore and backhands well, some shots brooking no challenged from her AAI rival. Sreeja, normally expected to stage a comeback, was rendered clueless on the day and bowed out in the round of 32.


In other interesting matches, Tamil Nadu’s Yashini Sivashankar survived a scare from Madhya Pradesh’s Anusha Kutumbale. It was a good match as both the players were capable of throwing off the other but what worked in favour of Yashini was the steely nerve in the decider, though she won comfortably having taken a good lead.


Maharashtra’s Swastika Ghosh, who has had a good national ranking outings this season, struggled to beat Shailu Noorbasha of Andhra Pradesh 3-2 (7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-4). Telangana’s Naina, somewhat out of form, managed to overcome Surbhi Patwari of North Bengal 11-8, 4-11, 11-7, 5-11, 12-10 in a see-saw battle to enter the pre-quarterfinals. So did Tamil Nadu’s Seelenadeepthi Selvakumar who beat Odisha’s Anannaya Basak 7-11, 12-14, 11-4, 11-6, 11-6.



The pre-quarterfinals in all the sections, including Youth Boys and Youth Girls, will be played tonight.




Junior Boys Singles (Round 32): Ronit Bhanja (WB) bt Sridhar Harikrishna (Telg) 3-1, Jignesh Rahatwal (Mah) bt Aakash Nath (WB) 3-2, Manush Shah (Guj) bt Abhinav Belwal (UP) 3-1, Parth Virmani (Del) bt Mohammad Amaan (CBSE) 3-0, Anirban Ghosh (WB) bt Rakshit Barigidak (KNT) 3-1, Lalhunhlua (PSPBA) bt Asif Khan (Raj) 3-1, Shivjit Roy (JKD) bt Sohan Bhattacharya (WB) 3-0, Siddhesh Pande (Mah) bt Ishan Hingorani (Guj) 3-0, Manav Thakkar (PSPBA) bt Mudit Dani (Mah) 3-0, Shreyas Kulkarni (KNT) bt Saikat Dey (WB) 3-1, Abimanyu Mitra (WB) bt Ali Mohammad (Telg) 3-2, Sarthak Seth (UP) bt Shaurya Pednekar (Mah) 3-1, Jeet Chandra (WB) bt Raegan Albuquerque (PSPBA) 3-1, Irshad Anas Mohammad (KRL) bt Ashwin Subramanian (Mah) 3-2, Akash Choudhury (WB) bt Shubham Ambre (Mah) 3-1, Ananth Devarajan (TN) bt Snehit Suravajjula (Telg) 3-0.


Junior Boys Singles (Round 32): Harshavardhini R (TN) bt Puja Paul (NB) 3-1, Renuka Ashwani (KRL) Dyuti Patki (Mah) 3-0, Kaushani Nath (WB) bt Ashlesha Trehan Mah) 3-1, Priyanka Pareek (Raj) Harini Uydayakumar (TN) 3-1, Yashini Sivashankar (TN) bt Anusha Kutumbale (MP) 3-2, Swastika Ghosh (Mah) Shailu Noorbasha (AP) 3-2, Naina (Telg) bt Surbhi Patwari (WB) 3-2, Kushi Viswanath (KNT) bt Sreeja Akula (AAI) 3-0, Moumita Datta (WB) bt Ishita Gupta (Del) 3-0, Manshree Patil (Mah) bt Tanisi Kirtani (Goa) 3-0, Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN) bt Anannya Basak (Odisha) 3-2, Archana Kamath (AAI) bt Gia Anna George (KRL) 3-1, Mrittika Halder (WB) bt Harsha Kalra 3-1, Varuni Jaiswal (Telg) bt Trisha Gogoi (Asm) 3-0, Abhinaya Ramesh (TN) bt Diksa Biswas (NB) 3-2, Shruti Amrute (Mah) bt Prapti Sen (WB) 3-1.