Friday, October 31, 2014

Upsets galore in junior girls section of East Zone Table Tennis

Durgapur, October 30, 2014: Top-seeded Anirban Ghosh from West Bengal and second seeded Manav Thakkar of PSPBA entered the quarterfinals of the National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Sidhu Kanu Indoor Stadium, City Centre here today.

But third seed Sanishe Ambekar of Maharashtra was eliminated by Haryana’s Ayush Tayal, who was a qualifier. Tayal beat Ambedkar 3-2 (7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9). In Junior Girls, Delhi’s Harsha Kalra made ripples by upsetting topseed Payal Bohra of Maharashtra 3-2 (13-11, 16-14, 5-11, 6-11, 11-8) in a thrilling pre-quarterfinal encounter. Payal was the winner of Junior Girls crown at Gandhidham.

No. 2 Sereha Jacob of Kerala also made her exit losing to another qualifier Sreeja Akula of Telengana. Sereha lost 12-10, 10-12, 9-11, 4-11 and joining the procession was third seed Riti Shankar of Delhi. Riti, who entered the semifinals at the West Zone event, lost to Aishwarya Pathak of UP. The UP girl won 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6. 

Anirban Ghosh defeated Balaganesh Arvind of Tamil Nadu in straight games while Thakkar downed Goutam Dhruvansh from UP 11-4, 4-11, 11-7, 11-9. Others who joined the quarters included Ravindra Kotiyan (Maharshtra), who beat PSPBA’s Lalhunhlua 12-10, 13-11, 11-5, to have a quarterfinal meeting against Lalrin Puia, another PSPBA boy.

Puia won a tough battle against West Bengal’s Jeet Chandra 3-2 (4-11, 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 12-10. Chandra finished runner-up in the sub-junior section yesterday, losing to eventual winner Manav Thakkar.The top-half three saw Delhi’s Utkarsh Gupta, Maharashtra’s Siddesh Pande and West Bengal’s Abhimanyu Mitra making the quarterfinals grade.

Mitra will have a tough task against top-seed Anirban Ghosh while Pande, who beat Ali Mohammad of Telengana 3-0 will run into Gupta, who also had a similar score against Suresh Nikhil of Tamil Nadu, in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Earlier in the day, both fifth and eighth seeded Anukram Jain and Birdie Boro, both representing PSPBA, bowed out in the first round of the main draw, losing to qualifiers Ali Mohammad of Telengana and Uttar Pradesh’s Sarthak Seth of UP.

It was a creditable performance on the part of the two qualifiers, particularly Sarthak Seth, who did well to reach the semifinals in the Cadet section yesterday. But what was surprising was the way both Jain and Boro lost, without much of a fight against their rivals.

Sarthak downed Boro, normally a steady player 11-9, 12-10, 11-3 while Ali Mohammad won 11-8, 11-7, 14-12 against Jain, who showed some kind of a late resistance in the third game.
In Junior Girls, sixth seeded Ashlesha Trehan of Maharashtra and Harsha Vardhini of AAI, seeded seventh, also exited after losing to qualifiers Naina Jaiswal of Telengana and Selenadeepthi Selvakumar of Tamil Nadu. Naina beat Ashlesha 16-14, 11-6, 11-2 and Selena won 11-9, 10-12, 13-11, 11-6, 11-2 in a tough battle to make it to the pre-quarterfinals.

Only the top four ranked players in Junior Girls received first found byes while in Junior Boys all 32 players, including the top eight, were engaged from first round of the main draw. Top two seeds in Junior Boys did not have to sweat it out much as Anirban Ghosh (WB), Manav Thakkar (PSPBA) made their pre-quarters entry while in the Junior Girls category, Maharashtra’s Payal Bohraand Seraha Jacob will start their campaign from last-16 stage.

In all 24 boys and 18 girls qualified for the main draw, having topped their respective groups. The qualification events in men, women and youth singles began this afternoon.

A TTFI Press release

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Indian men hockey team leaves for Australia

New Delhi, October 29, 2014: Indian Men Hockey team is all geared up to play the test series against Australia from November 4 to 10 and departed for Australia tonight. The tour is also in preparations for the upcoming Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2014, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha from December 6 to 14.

The 21 member squad is full of confidence and fervour after their recent gold medal victory in the Asian Games 2014. The team will be seen engaging in four match test series at the Perth Hockey Stadium, Australia.  The team has been rigorously practicing at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi in preparation for the test series.

Talking just before departure, Captain, Sardar Singh said, “Our team has worked hard for the last few weeks and we are looking forward to the Australian tour which will prove to be a big boost for the team to enhance our skills. Winning the gold medal in the recently concluded Asian Games has boosted the morale of the team and we are sure that we will get the best out of this learning experience. The aim is to win against them and I am confident we will overcome this challenge.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Australian Tour, Goalkeeper, PR Sreejesh said, “We are aiming at good games with Australia, keeping in mind all the strategies and tactics that we have planned to implement during the games. We are committed to work hard as a single unit and utilise this opportunity as a good learning experience at Australia. We will put in our best efforts and improve our game in every aspect; personally my aim is to give a tough defense to the opponents”

HI Press release

Bihar Junior rugby football team announced

Bihar Junior rugby football team was announced in Patna on October 27, 2014. The team will take part in the National Junior Rugby Football Championships.
Photo: Aftab Alam Siddiqui