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Payas exceptional as Indian juniors shine in Serbia, bag 18 medals




New Delhi, September 24: Impressive performances by seniors, reflecting the current progress that India has been making in table tennis, rubbed on the junior paddlers who swept the team titles in Junior Girls and Cadet Boys, apart from winning singles title and a host of other medals in what turned out to be a profitable 2018 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open in Belgrade that concluded last evening.


India finished with gold in Junior Girls (India A) and a bronze (India B), Junior Boys bronze (India A), Cadet Girls silver (India A), Cadet Boys gold (India A) and silver (India B). Also India finished with one gold, three bronze in singles while in doubles two silver and one bronze medals. In all, India bagged 18 medals from the Serbian trip.


The best performance came from Payas Jain of Delhi who first bagged the Cadet Boys team event title in the company of Vishwa Deenadayalan and then went on to claim the Cadet Boys singles crown, even as the Junior Girls captured the team title.


In fact, India’s A and B teams both made the top-of-podium finish with the former claiming gold, courtesy Payas and Vishwa while the latter, with Divyansh Srivastava and Aadarsh Om Chhetri had to settle for the silver.


In the final, Team A beat Team Be 3-1—the lone win for Team B coming through Divyansh when he beat Payas Jain 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 12-10 in the opening tie. But Vishwa defeated Aadarsh 11-7, 11-7, 11-8 and later Payas  won 12-10, 11-6, 11-7, including a doubles reverse 12-10, 11-8, 12-10 to end Team B’s title hopes.


But before that the duo had accounted for China’s B team, comprising Liu Shuanghao, Wang Shuai and Xu Haotian, 3-1 and then the Indian pair recorded a similar margin of win over Sweden’s Elliot Lundqvist and Daniel Lindso in the semis. On the other hand, Divyanish Srivastava and Aadarsh, tested to the core, registered 3-0 win against Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Alshareif and Salem Alsuwailen but got extended in the semi-finals which they won 3-2 against China’s Deng Hapieng and Tian Chufan. The chief architect of the victory was Divyanish who accounted for both Deng Haipeng (11-6, 11-8, 12-10) and Tian Chufan (11-5, 11-6, 11-7) in the decider.



Later, Anusha Kutumbale, Swastika Ghosh and Dia Chitale combined well to beat Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan, Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin and Wong Xin Ru 3-1 in the Junior Girls final, Dia being the chief tormentor.


In the opening tie Dia downed Wong Xin Ru 11-3, 11-9, 11-7 for a dream start and then in the fourth tie Goi Rui Xuan, who was in command, pulled out (10-12, 3-11, 14-12, 14-12) owing to an injury. Meanwhile, Anusha Kutumbale won her match, beating Pearlyn Koh Kai Xin 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6 to seal the fate of Singapore for whom Goi Rui Xuan recorded a win over Swastika Ghosh (10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4). Earlier India A bad won 3-0 against Slovakia’s Ema Labosova, Dasa Sinkarova and Jana Terezkova.


India B, comprising Radhapriya Goel, Prapti Sen and Paymantee Baisya, lost to Singapore in the semi-finals.


Payas again


After pairing up with Vishwa to claim Cadet Boys team crown, the two had a very good chance of adding another gold in doubles which they missed as China’s China’s Liu Shuanghao and Xu Haotian won 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9, by a whisker.


But Payas made up for the loss when he earned the Cadet Boys’ Singles gold, defeating China’s Li Zhenlong 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-4 in the final. Earlier, Payas had accounted for Divyansh Srivastava 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 13-15, 11-4 in the semi-finals to earn a meeting with the Chinese in the final.


In other half of the draw, Vishwa Deenadayalan lost in the quarter-final while Aadarsh Om Chhetri lost to Tian Chufan in the semi-finals.