Sunday, April 17, 2016

Shekhar, Shruti bag All India Ranking Tennis titles

Patna, April 16, 2016: Shekhar Jaiswal of Maharashtra beat Rupesh Roy of West Bengal 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to win the men’s singles title of the 2nd Vital All India Ranking Tennis Tournament at the Patliputra Tennis Centre court here on Saturday.
Shruti Gupta of West Bengal clinched the women’s singles crown defeating her state mate Adrija Biswas 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 in a grueling three setters.

Renu Sinha, member, State Consumer Forum, Government of Bihar and Amit Raj,  MD, Vital Industries distributed the prizes. Dr AB Prasad, secretary BLTA welcomed the guests. Kunal Aikat, chief coach BLTA proposed a vote of thanks.

Results: Men’s singles (final): Shekhar Jaiswal (MAH) bt Rupesh Roy (WB) 6-4, 5-7, 6-3
Men’s doubles (final): Rupesh Roy (WB) & Shekhar Jaiswal (MH) bt Anurag Mishra (UP) & Adarsh Anand (BR) 6-3, 6-4
Women’s singles (final): Shruti Gupta (WB) bt Adrija Biswas (WB) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3

Women’s doubles (final): Adrija Biswas (WB) & Shruti Gupta (WB) Aditi Shreya (BR) & Monika Kumar (WB) 6-2, 6-3

Rupesh meets Shekhar, Shruti faces Adrija in finals

 Adrija Biswas
Rupesh Roy

Patna, April 15, 2016: Rupesh Roy of West Bengal will take on Shekhar Jaiswal of Maharashtra in the men’s singles final of the 2nd Vital All India Ranking Tennis Tournament at the Patliputra Tennis Centre courts here.

In the women’s final, Shruti Gupta (west Bengal) will face her state mate Adrija Biswas.

Men’s singles (semifinals): Rupesh Roy (WB) bt Abhinav Mahajan (PB) 6-3, 6-0; Shekhar Jaiswal (MAH) bt Hursh Pandole (MP) 6-4, 6-1.
Men’s doubles (semifinals): Anurag Mishra (UP) & Adarsh Anand (BR) bt Shaik Osama (AP) & Chiranjiv Sahu (CG) 6-4, 6-4; Rupesh Roy (WB) & Shekhar Jaiswal (MH) bt Harsh Pandole (MP ) & Abhinav Mahajan (PB) 7-5,  6-4.
Women’s singles (semifinals): Shruti Gupta (WB) bt Sofia Khan (BR) 6-2, 6-0; Adrija Biswas (WB) bt Aditi Shreya (BR) 7-5, 6-2.
Women’s doubles (quarterfinals): Megha Roy (WB) & Ishika Gupta (WB) bt Sofia Khan (BR) & Kirandeep Kotade (GJ) 6-2, 6-3; Naziya Ahmed (AS) & Aashi Kapoor (UP) bt Lavanya Hanshi (BR) & Tanmaya Khushi (BR)  6-2, 6-4; Aditi Shreya (BR) & Monika Kumar (WB) bt. Shweta Paswan (DL) & Priyam Kumari (BR) 6-4, 4-6, (10-6); Adrija Biswas (WB) & Shruti Gupta (WB) bt. Meenu Pandey (UP) & Sudeshna Sen (WB) 6-0, 6-2.

Women’s doubles (semifinals): Aditi Shreya (BR) & Monika Kumar (WB) bt Naziya Ahmed (AS) & Aashi Kapoor (UP) 6-2, 6-1; Megha Roy (WB) & Ishika Gupta (WB) Vs Adrija Biswas (WB) & Shruti Gupta (WB). This match is unfinished and the score was 6-3on favour of Adrija & Shruti. In the second set Megha & Ishika was up 1-0.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Motivated Sharath, Mouma too book Rio berths

 Achanta Sharath Kamal 
Sharath and Mouma Das

New Delhi, April 16: Brushing aside his four-year-old London disappointment and the third-place finish in the South Asia Zone qualifiers just a  couple of days ago, Achanta Sharath Kamal fought his way back well in the decisive final round contest in Hong Kong’s Queen Elizabeth Stadium to grab the second men’s slot today.

At the Asian Olympic Games Qualification tournament’s Stage 2 men’s singles event, the Indian defeated Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan 4-3 (12-14,11-6,3-11,7-11,11-4,11-7,11-6), much to his own relief and that of his teammates for whom he has been an iconic player.

Sharath, who made his first Olympic appearance at Athens in 2004, will be at the Riocentro in Barra da Tijuca, the table tennis venue, in August in the company of Soumyajit Ghosh, Manika Batra and Mouma Das, who also made her first Olympic appearance at Athens.

A maximum of two players per National Olympic Committee is allowed to compete in both the singles event at the Games. And, for the first time, India will be represented by a full four-member squad at Rio.

Testing contest
After spending a relaxed night following his tough win over Saudi adversary Ali Alkhadrawi, Sharath knew it was going to be a testing contest against the 25-year-old Alamiyan. His pre-match calculations proved right as Sharath was down 1-3 after the fourth game and all hopes of his third appearance at the Games seemed dissipated.

“When I was trailing 1-3, my mind was all about the next match that I will have to play if I lose this one. If I had lost, I would have to play against Jiang Tianyi (of China) and I’m not fit because of my back injury,” admitted Sharath.

It was then the 34-year-old Indian brought to the fore his grit and experience and putting them together went on a rampage. Unable to withstand Sarath’s combination drives—his backhand worked very well today—the Iranian wilted under pressure as the Indian went from strength to strength to win the next three games.

“My back is totally plastered and I’m in pain everywhere, I couldn’t afford to lose and play one more match,” said Sharath. “I seemed to have lost my motivation but in the fifth game I made a good start and the tide changed, I started to dominate the match.”

Talking on his first and fourth games, Sharath said: “In the first game, I was up 8-5 and lost 14-12. That put more pressure on me. In the fourth, I was 6-2 up and lost eight points in a row. Those games made a big difference and if I had won them, it would have been an easier match. But, of course, if it was easy it wouldn’t have been fun.”    

Incidentally, this was Sharath’s fifth win over Alamiyan and the Indian rated this as a huge one. “After all, this was Olympic qualification and this would be there at the top of all my wins against him,” said a completely drained out Sharath.

Never-say-die Mouma
Despite losing her final round in the morning to North Korean Ri Myong Sun in straight games of 3-11, 9-11, 10-12, 5-11, Mouma had her chance in the losers final. And, as expectd, the 32-year-old did not disappoint. She defeated Rimma Gufranova of Uzbekistan 4-1 (11-13, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7, 12-10) to book one of the two Games slots.

For Mouma, it will be her second Olympics as she had first competed in the singles event at Athens along with Sharath in 2004.

“Though I was a bit nervous, I knew I can beat my opponent. After the first game got extended, I was more determined. But she was really good and challenged me at every stage. The win in the third game was crucial and despite losing two match points in the fifth, I was sure I am close to clinching the berth,” said the five-time national champion and the most capped Asian in world championships.

President of the Table Tennis Federation, Prabhat C.Chaturvedi, in his congratulatory message to the paddlers wished them well for the Olympics. “We are really proud of your achievements. You have taken Indian table tennis to new heights. You proved it during the world championships at Bangkok in February and now again in Hong Kong. These are good sings, indeed,” said Chaturvedi in his message to the team members.  

TTFI Press release and photographs 

Sharath, Mouma one step away from Rio berths

New Delhi, April 15, 2016: Achanta Sharath Kamal and Mouma Das reached the final rounds in Stage 2 of the Asia Olympic Games Qualification tournament in Hong Kong today and enhanced their chances of making it to the Rio Games.

The Stage 2 of the Asia Qualifiers offers a total of 12 qualifiers each—five from region tournaments and seven from the main event.

With five regions throwing up five qualifiers in each section, which included Indians Soumyajit Ghosh and Manika Batra, the remaining players were divided into four groups in each category to compete among themselves—the winners of each group making the Olympics cut.

Drawn in group B and given a first-round bye, Achanta Sharath Kamal took on Ali Alkhadrawi of Saudi Arabia in the semifinals. The top-ranked Indian in the world made a short work of his Saudi opponent to beat him 4-3 (9-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-6, 12-14, 11-9) to move into the last round where he will take on Noshad Alamiyan from Iran tomorrow. This match in group B will decide the seventh qualifier.
The Iranian, who scored a hard-fought first round win (4-3) over Libya’s Dauud Cheaib, defeated Indonesia’s Ficky Santoso 4-2 (11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3) in the second round.

Though Sharath and Noshad have not met each other in recent times they have played against one another five times before between 2010 and 2014 with the Indian having a 4-1 win-loss record over the Iranian.

Tough for Mouma
Mouma, drawn in group A, had an easy passage into the final round where she will meet North Korean Ri Myong Sun tomorrow. The Indian had received byes in the first two rounds while Ri, who had a first-round bye, defeated Sewer Abuyaman of Jordan in straight games in round two. In a head-to-head match-up, the North Korean has an upper hand over the Indian, having beaten her once in the Asian Championships in 2011.

But Mouma need not despair because she will still get a chance in the Qualifiers 11-12 and Reserve spots of 1-2, which will be played on progressive knockout.   

TTFI Press release