Event Section
Pressure pulls national champ Mouma down, Ankita too bows out


Hyderabad, January 9: The pressure of selection for the Olympic qualifiers was writ large on the faces of even the most experienced as second-seeded Mouma Das and No. 5 Ankita Das crashed out in the women’s singles quarterfinals to join those fell by the wayside in earlier rounds of the 77th Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium here today.


Top-seeded Manika Batra beat West Bengal’s Mousumi Paul 4-2 after some initial struggle for a semifinal meeting with Krittwika Sinha Roy.


In the third quarterfinal, Mouma despite picking herself up went down to seventh-seed Madhurika Patkar 3-4 and with that her ambition of retaining the national title she won last year at Pudhucherry. Sixth seed Pooja managed to stop Tamil Nadu’s Reeth Rishya on her tracks to win 4-3 in the last quarterfinal.



With selectors watching the proceedings, there were quite a few nervy moments for the country’s top paddlers in both the sections. But the worst sufferers were, undoubtedly, the weak-hearted ones as they went about committing far too many unforced errors in their anxiety to overcome their rivals. This, invariably, resulted in their best shots deserving at the crucial junctures—Mouma depended more on her backhand than the blistering forehand drives—and Reeth, cool and calm until the quarters, goofed it up in a role reversal. Pooja kept her cool and exploited her opponent’s weak points to go through to the semifinal where she will take on her Maharashtra rival Madhurika.


In men’s quarters, top-seeded Achanta Sharath Kamal steamrolled Maharashtra’s Sanil Shetty 4-1 and Sathiyan sent fourth-seed Harmeet Desai packing for a 4-3 verdict while third-seeded Soumyajit Ghosh was taken the full distance by Subhajit Saha before the former won 4-3 and in the last quarterfinal No. 2 seed Anthony Amalraj, after being 3-0 up, was stretched to a 4-2 score by Haryana’s Jubin Kumar.


Earlier, Harmeet Desai and Pooja Sahasrabuddhe of Petroleum combined well in the final to beat the West Bengal pair of Ronit Bhanja and Ayhika Mukherjee 3-1 to lift the mixed doubles trophy.




Men’s Singles: Quarterfinals : A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt Sanil Shetty (Mah) 4-1 (5-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7), G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Harmeet Desai (PSPB) 4-3 (13-11, 2-11, 10-12, 11-1, 10-12, 11-3, 11-6), Soumyajit Ghosh (PSPB) bt Subhajit Saha (PSPB) 4-3 (11-3, 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11, 11-8), Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt Jubin Kumar (Har) 4-2 (11-5, 11-7, 14-12, 10-12, 9-11, 11-5).


Women’s Singles: Quarterfinals: Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Mousumi Paul (WB) 4-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 15-13, 11-13, 11-4), Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) bt Ankita Das (PSPB) 4-2 (11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 5-11, 11-2), Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (PSPB) bt Reeth Rishya (TN) 4-3 (7-11, 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-4), Madhurika Patkar (Mah) bt Mouma Das (PSPB) 4-3 (8-11, 11-2, 11-5, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-2).


Mixed DoublesFinal: Harmeet Desai/Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (PSPB) bt Ronit Bhanja/Ayhika Mukherjee (WB) 3-1 (11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7).