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Suhana's wins go in vain, Indians finish with bronze




New Delhi, December 3: India's Under-15 Girls team flattered to deceive as it went down 2-3, despite Suhana Saini’s valiant efforts in the semifinals of the ITTF World Youth Championships at Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, today.


Even a Suhana could not stop the Russian Federation from entering the final, where they will take on Japan later in the evening.


Pritha Vartikar began well in the opening rubber but let the Russian opponent Zlata Terekhova dominate as the latter blunted the Indian’s attack and win 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6. Suhana, who is familiar to the situation, did not give up in the second and, as expected levelled the score with an emphatic 3-1 (11-4, 15-13, 9-11, 11-9) victory over Kristina Kurilkina.


But Sayali Wani Rajesh, lacking experience, lost to Anastasiia 8-11, 11-7, 5-11, 8-11 to bring the pressure back on India and Suhana. However, the Haryana girl brushed it aside and notched another win in the reverse singles against Zlata in the tough fourth rubber.


The Indian led 2-1 but let the Russian girl come back to level the score and take the issue to the decider. And, Suhana did not let herself and India down, as she shut out Zlata for a 12-10, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7 win.



In the fifth rubber, Pritha was simply outplayed by Kristina who won 11-6, 11-9, 11-7 to force the Indians to satisfy with the bronze medal.


Yesterday, the under-19 girls lost in the quarterfinals against the USA when Swastika Ghosh and Dia Chitale both lost their first to rubbers—Swastika losing 2-3 (11-5, 11-4, 6-11, 6-11, 7-11) to Rachel Sung and Dia going down to Amy Wang in a similar fashion 2-3 (11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 7-11)—after both enjoying a comfortable 2-0 lead.


However, Yashaswini Ghorpade saved the face for India somewhat when she defeated USA’s Joanna Sung in straight games of 11-6, 11-9, 11-6 before the Americans put the issue beyond India when Amy defeated Swastika 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-4 for a 3-1win to seal their place in the semifinals.


In the Under-15 Boys, it was heartbreaking for India as our boys went down 2-3 against a strong Russian Federation. The boys, who had a 2-0 lead through Preyesh Raj Suresh, who won 11-5, 12-14, 11-6, 11-4 against Koniukhov llia and Ankur Bhattacharjee beating Aleksei Samokahin 11-7, 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, failed to capitalise and lost the next three rubbers in the quarterfinals.


Shankhadip Das, playing the third singles lost to Roman Vinogradov 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 9-11, and then Ankur went down to Konikukhov 9-11, 9-11, 1-11 to let the Russians claw back into the contest. In the decider, the left-handed Preyesh wilted under pressure exerted by Aleksei and lost 10-12, 11-6, 9-11, 11-13.


The doubles outings at the Worlds begin tomorrow.