Goa, December 17: Deepit Rajesh Patil of Maharashtra and Trisha Gogoi of Assam were the lucky ones to get the automatic pride of place while the other seven players had to go through the rigmarole of the singles open draw for the remaining seven positions in the Sub-Junior Boys and Sub-Junior Girls of the 11Sports 79th Cadet and Sub-Junior National Table Tennis Championships at the SP Mukherjee Indoor Stadium here today.
With players taking part in the open draw—the second stage will have 64 players—this was considered the best system which the technical committee has been following for seeding purposes, particularly when three players in both sections having equal ranking status in third position and four in fifth position.
As per seeding, Deepit is followed by Delhi’s Payas Jain at No. 2 while Dev Shroff, also of Maharashtra, is at No. 3 and PSPB Academy’s H. Jeho is the No. 4 seed. They are followed by Delhi’s Yashansh Malik (No. 5), PSPBA’s Alberto Lrruata (No. 6), Maharshtra’s Hrishikesh Malhotra (No. 7) and Jayabrata Bhattacharjee of North Bengal at No. 8.
In Sub-Junior Girls, Munmun Kundu of West Bengal is seeded behind Trisha at No. 2 while the other seeds—Maharashtra’s Mihika Rohira (No.3), Nithyashree Mani of Tamil Nadu (No. 4), Lalshita Narang of Delhi (No. 5), Vanshika Bhargava, also of Delhi, (No. 6), Suhana Saini of Haryana (No. 7) and Anargaya Manjunath of Karnataka (No. 8) follow them in that order.
The seeded players in both sections will, however, not enjoy any first-round byes in the main draw as they will be joined by 56 qualifiers from as many groups.
Jeho, the reigning champion and seeded No. 4, will have an onerous task of retaining the crown as he is drawn in the top-half where he has contenders like Yashansh Malik, Jayabrata Bhattachrjee and the top-seed Deepit. Indeed, it was surprising that the tall and lanky Maharashtra boy, who had very little to show in ranking events this year, topped the ranking list just at the right moment to be seeded No. 1. However, his record against Jeho is not encouraging, provided they run into each other very early.
Similarly, No. 2 seed Payas Jain, who finished with a the bronze medal at Siliguri, will have to worry about an in-form Dev Shroff, who led Maharashtra to team title yesterday, while the other contenders like Alberto and Hrishkesh Malhotra in the bottom half can be tackled easily. In other words, one expects Payas to go through at least until the semi-finals stages.
As for Sub-Junior Girls, one expects the title fight between top-seed Trisha Gogoi of Assam and Munmun Kundu of West Bengal, the No. 2 seed. The girl from Assam, drawn in the top-half looks like having an easy passage up to the final, while it may not be the case for Mumnun Kundu, placed in the second half of the draw with Delhi’s Vanshika Bhargava and Mihika Rohira of Maharashtra breathing down her neck.
But the plans of all seeded players can go awry as Diya Chitale, who is a qualifier, could be the surprise pack among the 64 to retain the title she won at Siliguri when she beat Vanshika in the final. Diya could well have been a part of the seeding list but for her skipping most of the national ranking tournaments this season to concentrate on international outings.
Assam duo upset
Meanwhile, Sub-Junior doubles events entered the quarterfinal phase with a few seeded pairs bowing out earlier than expected. In Sub-Junior Girls, third-seeded Assam duo Trisha Gogoi and Akansha Deka were sent packing by unseeded Manipuri pair of Huiro Senerita and Ye Devi Lakhipiyari as the latter won 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, while the fifth-seeded combination from Delhi, Lakshita Narang and Tamanna Gulshan bit the dust when they went down to the left-right UP combination Ambika Gupta and Radhapriya Goel 10-12, 9-11, 14-12, 10-12 in the pre-quarterfinals.
But for these upsets, the remaining six seeds, including top-seeded Tamil Nadu pair of Shamitha Srinivasan and Nithyashree Mani and second-seeded West Bengal duo of Munmun Kundu and Anushka Basak went through the motions to enter the quarterfinals.
Among Sub-Junior Boys, only the sixth-seeded pair from Maharashtra, Manav Mehta and Hrishikesh Malhotra, bowed out as they went down to another unseeded pair of A. Advait and Varunshankar Balasuri 7-11, 8-11, 8-11 from Telangana.
However, top-seeds from Maharashtra, Deepit R. Patil and Dev Shroff who enjoyed first-round bye posted easy second-round win to move into quarterfinals. Similarly, the second seeds from PSPB, H. Jeho and Alberto Lrruata, third seeds Payas Jain and Arush Dutta from Delhi, fourth seeded pair, also from Delhi, Yashansh Malik and Adarsh Om Chetri, Tamil Nadu’s Preyesh Raj and Vishwa Deenadayalan, No. 5 seed, and No. 7 Jayabrata Bhattacharjee and Soumyadeep Sarkar of North Bengal remained in fray with easy triumphs in their pre-quarterfinals.
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