Manav wins a double as other Indians shine in Portugal Open
New Delhi, November 29: Top-seeded Manav Thakkar finished the ITTF World Junior Circuit on a high as he claimed the Junior Boys Singles title and Doubles gold at the 2018 Portugal Junior and Cadet Open in Guimarães on Wednesday night.
In what was an Indian final, Manav defeated Jeet Chandra in a tough match which went down to the wire. Manav won 11-5, 7-11, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9, taking crucial the decider in the nick of time.
Earlier in the day, he had partnered Manush Shah to win the doubles, as the top Indian pair overcame a stiff challenge from compatriots, Jeet Chandra and Snehit Suravajjula, the No. 2 seeds, 11-7, 11-6, 13-15, 7-11, 11-6.
Manav, en route to final, had beaten fifth-seed Italian John Oyebode 11-9, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11, 11-5 in the pre-quarters, Portugal’s Gonçalo Gomez 11-5, 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 in the quarters and finally third-seeded Indian Snehit 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 11-4 in the semifinals for a spot in the final.
Indeed, it had turned out to be a tough semifinal with the players knowing each other’s game well, but in the end Manav took the decider rather easily, with Snehit not able to mount pressure against his teammate. The Hyderabad lad had to be content with the bronze medal.
Manav, who was looking for his form in the Youth Olympics at Buenos Aires a couple of months ago, finally found his rhythm going nicely in the Portugal Open. In what was an even contest, the experience of Manav came good as he stopped Chandra two points short in the decider.
It was a fantastic effort by Jeet, the No. 4 seed, throughout as he beat in the pre-quarters Italy’s Andrea Puppo 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-8 and then Chinese Tao Yuchang 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7 before beating Spain’s Marc Gutierrez 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, 11-5 in the semifinals.
There were other successful Indians in Guimaraes as Selenadeepthi Selvakumar and Swastika Ghosh had won a bronze medal each in Junior Girls singles after failing to go past the semifinal hurdles. Top-seeded Indian Selena lost her match to local favourite Liu Yangzi 8-11, 16-18, 8-11, 3-11 while China’s Qin Xiaoce beat Swastika 13-11, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10.
Earlier, the Chennai girl pairing up with Italian Marie Chapet lost their semifinals in Junior Girls doubles to third-seeded Portugal pair of Raquel Martins and Celia Silva 7-11, 6-11, 9-11 to settle for the bronze medals.