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Payas, Yashashwini join elite young Indians as Asian squads to win gold and bronze




New Delhi, October 31: Payas Jain joined the elite group of Indian boys who were a part of the gold-winning Asian squad, competing in the ITTF World Cadet Challenge which concluded yesterday in Poland.


Payas, who won a silver medal at the Asian Juniors in Ulaanbaatar, became an automatic choice while Yashaswini Ghorpade, getting a call on the basis of her consistent performance, was the second Indian representatives to be chosen to represent the Asian squad and they made most of the occasion to showcase their talent at the Challenge event.


Payas, who was instrumental in helping the Asian squad with an all-win record—he beat Simon Belik from Czech Republic11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-9 in the semi-final against Europe team—and then in the final against Hopes squad, which had players drawn from Singapore, Spain and Romania. Payas beat Daniel Berzosa from Spain 14-16, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8.


He, however, could not progress beyond the pre-quarterfinals in Cadet Boys singles as he went down to Mexican Rogello Castro 8-11, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11, 11-5, 10-12 in a tough fight.


In Cadet Boys doubles, the Delhi boy combined with Korean Seongil Jang but they failed to go past the quarterfinal hurdle when the duo was beaten by Julian Chirita of Romania and Quek Yong Izaac of Singapore, who won 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7.


This was incidentally the first occasion when the Asian squad failed to win the gold. But it managed to win a team bronze and Yashashwini helped the squad achieve this when she beat Wiktoria Wrobel of Poland 11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 11-5 while her teammates completed a 3-0 win over Poland for the bronze medal.


But the Bengaluru girl could not make it to the medal round when she and her partner from Singapore Zhou Zingyi lost to Vlada Voronina of Russia and Elana Zaharia of Romania 9-11, 8-11, 7-11 in doubles. So was the case with her as she went down fighting in the Cadet Girls singles when Egypt’s Hana Goda beat the Indian 12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5.