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Indians make Tunis outing memorable




New Delhi, September 19: Picking up the threads from where he left off in Otocec, Payas Jain claimed his successive Under-17 Boys title when he defeated Tom Closset of Belgium 3-1 (7-11, 11-4, 11-4, 15-13) in the WTT Youth Contender final in Tunis.


The Delhi lad, who won gold in the same category in Slovenia last week, had a bad start to the final but came back strongly to take on the Belgian to go up 2-1 quickly. However, in the fourth touch-and-go game, his opponent squandered a couple of game points to let the Indian finish in style.



Earlier, in his semi-final, Payas defeated Preyesh Raj Suresh in straight games of 16-14, 11-8, 11-8. Despite his upper hand in the first game, the Tamil Nadu boy could not breach Payas’ confidence and finally settled with the bronze.


Ankur Bhattacharjee, who played an enduring semi-final against, Tom Closset came too close to clinching it. But, in the end, the Belgian proved a notch better, leaving the Indian with the bronze.


However, Payas failed to cross the semi-final hurdle yet again in the Under-19 Boys on Sunday. The Indian ended up on the podium, receiving the bronze medal after going down to Louis Laffineur 1-3 (11-9, 10-12, 4-11, 9-11).


Payas began well and, after a bit of struggle in the second, deuced. The Belgian bounced back well and completed the task soon after taking the second game. In the other Maharashtra's Deepit Patel went down 3-11, 4-11, 7-11 to Adrien Rassanfosse, also a Belgian. Adrien became the eventual winner when he defeated his compatriot Tom in the final.



Left-handed Preyesh made up for his loss to take the Under-15 Boys title. He downed Ankur Bhattacharjee in the final 3-1 (11-8, 15-13, 11-13, 11-9). The West Bengal paddler ascended the podium for the second time, this time winning a silver medal.


Another Indian, P.B.Abhinand of Tamil Nadu, settled with a bronze after losing his semi-final 9-11, 12-10, 7-11, 1-11 to Ankur, earlier in the day.  


In the Under-11 Boys, it was an Indian show again as Vishruth Ramakrishnan claimed the gold medal after accounting for local boy Amir Essid. The Tamil Nadu boy won 11-4, 11-3, 11-7.