Event Section
Superior Sharath-Manika duo wins mixed doubles final as upsets galore in singles

 

Cuttack, January 8: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board’s second-seeded duo of A. Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra, defeated top-seeded pair of Manav Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath 3-1 to win the mixed doubles gold in the 11Sports 80th National Table Tennis Championship at the Nehru Stadium here today.

 

Sharath, who is playing in three events after a long time, won the second title to add to the team events crown that PSPB won two days ago.  The last time he competed and won all four titles was way back during the Siliguri Nationals in 2008. Incidentally, it was Harmeet Desai and Pooja Sahasrabudhe who had won the mixed doubles for PSPB at Hyderabad three years ago.

 

Ever since mixed doubles has become a part of the Olympics, Sharath has ventured into it and along with Manika Batra, also tasted success when the pair won the first Asian Games bronze medal at Jakarta last year.

 

Having set the tone on Sunday in the team final, Sharath shepherded Manika Batra, guiding her all through, in the final against Manav and Archana. Establishing an early lead, they stamped their authority and went 1-0 up, winning most points on service.

 

In the second, however, they left some leeway for the top-seeds to stage a comeback but Sharath and Manika soon caught up with them to win it on extended points. Nevertheless, their opponents did well to challenge their supremacy and led 0-5 before Sharath and Manika levelled and went 6-5, 9-7 up. But Archana and Manav clawed their way back and neutralized and at deuce they seized the first opportunity to take the game 12-10.

 

In the fourth, Manav and Archana pulled back yet again to make it 3-3 and 6-6 when Sharath and Manika almost ran away with the title but their enthusiasm was nipped then and there as the experienced duo sealed the other PSPB pair’s fate to take five points on the trot and the match.

 

In both men and women singles, at least two seeds exited as third seed Sudhanshu Grover went down to qualifier Kiranjoy Pushilal of West Bengal 4-3 in the round of 32, playing nearly an hour, and left-handed Abhishek Yadav sent fifth-seeded Sushmit Sriram of Tamil Nadu packing 4-2. In women’s affairs, fourth-seeded Divya Deshpande lost to Anusha Kutambale of Madhya Pradesh 4-1 (11-6, 4-11, 8-11, 6-11, 10-12) in the second round while Pooja Sahasrabudhe followed suit in the next round to current Youth champion from Maharashtra Shruti Amrute 2-4.

 

Earlier, R. Senthil Kumar of Kerala felled No. 14 seed Raj Mondal 11-7, 11-8, 11-2 with no resistance coming from the RBI paddler whilde SFR Snehit, No. 15 seed, lost to Jaydip Das of Indian Audit 17-19, 10-12, 1-11. Joining the crowd of fallen stars were former national champions Anindita Chakraborty, Mouma Das and Poulomi Ghatak. The silver lining, however, was that former national champion K. Shamini had made it to the pre-quarterfinals.

 

But the best match of the day was, indeed, the one between Sudhanshu and Kiranjoy. The West Bengal paddler showed enormous courage to fight back after being down 1-3 and winning the breathtaking decider 18-16 to enter the round of 32. Archana Kamath averted a scare from Nivedita Balasurry of Telangana to win 4-3 after being down 0-3.

 

The results:

 

Mixed DoublesFinal: A. Sharath Kamal & Maika Batra (PSPB) bt Manav Thakkar & Archana Kamath (PSPB) 11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6.

 

Women Singles Round of 32: Sutirtha Mukhjerjee (Har) bt C.R. Harsha Vardhini 11-2, 6-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3, 11-3; Sreeja Akula (Tel) bt Anindita Chakraborty (RSPB) 11-8, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6; K. Shamini (PSPB) bt Surbhi Patwari (AAI) 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10; Ayhika Mukherjee (WB) bt Srushti Haleangadi (Mah) 11-7, 11-7, 8-11, 10-12, 13-11, 11-6; Shruti Amrute (RSPB) bt Pooja Sahasrabudhe (Mah) 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7; Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) bt Shailu Noorbasha (AP) 15-13, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6; Amrutha Pushpak (TN) bt Kaushani Nath (AAI) 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7; Madhurika Patkar (PSPB) bt Diya Chitale (Mah) 12-10, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10; Anusha Kutumbale (MP) bt Pooja Sharma (IA&AD) 12-10, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2; Mousomi Paul (WB) bt Reeth Rishya (TN) 11-6, 12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 6-11, 11-7; Nikhat Banu (Tel) bt Mallika Bhandarkar (AAI) 11-3, 10-12, 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-5; Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Frenaz Chipia (Guj) 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-3; Sagarika Mukherjee (RSPB) bt Poulomi Ghatak (PSPB) 11-8, 11-4, 12-10, 11-4; Seraha Jacob (TN) bt Prapti Sen (WB) 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10; S. Selvakumar (AAI) bt Senhora D’Souza (Mah) 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6; Archana Kamath (PSPB) bt Niveditha Balusuri (Tel) 8-11, 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-7, 11-5.      

 

 Men Singles Round of 32: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Abhimanyu Mitra (WB) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4; Jeet Chandra (Har) bt Sougata Sarkar (WB) 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6, 14-12; SIddhesh Pande (Mah) bt Jignesh Jaiswal (Guj) 11-8, 12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10; Abhishek Yadav (UP) bt Sushmit Sriram (TN) 15-13, 10-12, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6; Arjun Ghosh (WB) bt Payas Jain (Del) 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 12-10; Manush Shah (Guj) bt Anirban Nandi (RSPB) 13-11, 8-11, 13-11, 10-12, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6; Omkar Torgalkar (Mah) bt R. Senthil Kumar (Ker) 11-9, 11-7, 11-2, 11-3; A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt Nikhil Suresh (TN) 16-14, 6-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8; Kiranjoy Pushilal (WB) bt Sudhanshu Grover (PSPB) 11-8, 5-11, 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 11-7, 18-16; Ronit Bhanja (WB) bt Jubin Kumar (Har) 12-10, 11-13, 8-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9; Harmeet Desai (Guj) bt T. Nitin (TN) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5; Sanil Shetty (Mah) bt Utkarsh Gupta (Del) 11-9 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4; G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Shreyal Telang (Kar) 11-7, 11-7, 11-5, 12-10; Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) bt Abhinav Belwal (UP) 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 15-13, 11-6; Sourav Saha (Har) bt Akash Nath (NB) 11-6, 10-12, 11-1, 12-10, 11-5; A. Amalraj (PSPB) bt Pritam Bose (MC&IT) 11-3, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.