Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fancied players move into pre-quarterfinals

Alappuzha, November 29, 2014: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board’s Abhishek Yadav and the top-seed showed a clear intention of his game plan and form in the Youth Boys singles when he moved into the pre-quarterfinals of the 76th Junior National and Youth Table Tennis Championships at the Radha Convention Centre here today.

Yadav, who was a semifinalist in the last edition at Guwahati, lost to the eventual winner G. Sathiyan, who is not competing here.  

The southpaw defeated Gujarat’s qualifier Hash Sachanandani 3-1 (6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-8) while No 2 Sudhanshu Grover, also of the PSPB beat Abhilash Bora of Assam 3-1 (12-10, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6) even as other top eight players joined them in the last-16 stages. But it was a bit of struggle for Sanish Ambekar, who was a star in Maharashtra’s Youth Boys team title, as Karantaka’s Akshay Mahanta stretched him the full distance.

In the end, Ambekar won 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7 to move a state up. But Ravindra Kotiyan had no such problem, beating Tamil Nadu’s Divakar Kishore 13-11, 11-8, 11-4 as did Delhi’s Utkarsh Gupta who downed Gujarat’s Soham Pandya 11-3, 11-5, 11-6.

In the Youth Girls section, seeded and known players had it easy as PSPB’s Manika Batra, Reeth Rishya, Senhora D’Souza and Archana Kamath, AAI’s Amrita Pushpak, Gujarat’s Fremaz Chipia, West Bengal’s Rupsa Bhattacharya and Trisha Das, Maharashtra’s Mallika Bhandarkar, Charvi Kawle, Shireen Inamdar, Rutuja Khopkar and Srushti Halengadi, Telangana’s Varuni Jaiswal, Tamil Nadu’s Abhinaya Ramesh, Kerala’s Mariya Rony moved into the pre-quarterfinals.

Except for a few matches, where the winners were stretched at the adjacent hall, the rest eased past their challengers without any trouble. Gujarat’s Frenaz had to fight it out against Tamil Nadu’s S. Sathiyamoorthy.3-2. After losing the first game to the Tamil Nadu girl, Frenaz really fought well to win the second at 15-13 and took the lead in the next. However, the Gujarat girl lost the fourth only to regroup herself in the next for a 5-11, 15-13, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 win.

Similarly, Maharashtra B’s Shiren struggled before overcoming her Gujarat opponent Dwijal Trivedi 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6 and Delhi’s Riti Shankar, who is in the top 10, lost to Telangana’s Varuni Jaiswal 6-11, 12-14, 11-6, 11-3, 9-11. Riti did well to come back into the match after she was 0-2 down. But in the decider missed a crucial to allow Varuni go up and finish the match.

As for Kerala’s Maria Rony, it was easy against Delhi’s Aanchal Malhotra despite the latter taking a game off her Kerala rival. Maria won 7-11, 11-6, 12-10, 11-5 for a pre-quarterfinal berth. Maharashtra’s Shrushti Halengadi resisted a determined Poulomi Das of AAI to win 11-9, 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5.  

In Junior Boys, Delhi’s Himanshu Jindal put it across West Begal’s Abhimanyu Mitra after being down by two games. The Delhi boy won 4-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-1. Yet another match that went down to the wire was between Shivam Shrivastava and Suresh Nikhil of Tamil Nadu in which the later won 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-6 to enter the pre-quarterfinals. But the other matches were almost a one-sided affair with the fancied players going through to the next stage.

TTFI Press release

Maharashtra boys and PSPB girls win Youth titles

Alappuzha, November 28, 2014: If Team Maharashtra had been on a roll, it was a downswing of sorts for the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) at the 76th Junior National and Youth Table Tennis Championships at the Radha Convention Centre here today.

Maharashtra, who claimed the Junior Boys title after 25 years, made the Youth Boys crown their own, humiliating Delhi 3-0 in the final even as the PSPB Youth Girls just about managed to wrest the title—title holders West Bengal were ousted earlier—from a determined Maharashtra A team. PSPB won 3-2 in a battle that lasted nearly two hours.   
After having busted the big bubble of PSPB in the semifinals yesterday, the two-man in-form army of Sanish Ambekar and Ravindra Kotiyan made Delhi sweat on a humid day for every point. But in the end, it was Maharashtra who emerged the champions after seven years. They had lost won at Surat when he beat Tamil Nadu in the final.

In fact, unseating PSPB was a difficult task and having accomplished it, Delhi was an easy prey to get killed. Sanish gave a fine start, Ravindra consolidated with yet another fine show only for Siddesh Pande, the promising youngster, to finish off in style. Delhi, however hard they tried, they could never match up with Maharashtra’s intensity.

As for the Youth Girls, it was a 50-50 case when the final started. Though Manika Batra gave PSPB a winning start, beating Mallika 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7, Reeth Rishya struggled against Charvi Kawle. The latter, showing good intent and running into a nice rhythm, did not allow any liberty to her PSPB rival. However, what gave a semblance of change to PSPB was the new-girl-on-the-block Archana Kamath Girish.

The latest entrant to the PSPB, the girl from Karnataka put it across Maharashtra’s weak link Ashlesha Trehan in straight games. But Charvi brought Maharashtra back on track with a wonderful match against Manika. Charvi, mixing cleverly her strokes, kept Manika engaged keeping the ball on the table. Manka, making far too many mistakes, wilted under pressure. But, in the end, it was left to Reeth who made up for the first singles loss by beating a visibly tired Mallika.

Yesterday, local girl Maria Rony missed a great opportunity of winning the Junior Girls singles crown, losing to Shruti Amrute of Maharashtra. Maria, who was also entered in the Youth Girls team events by Kerala, could not bear the burden of having to play too many matches and lost despite winning the first game in the final. But it must be said to the credit of Shruti who was in a zone of her own.

Youth Boys: Team Final: Maharashtra bt Delhi 3-0 (Sanish Ambekar bt Himashu Jindal 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, Ravindra Kotiyan bt Shivam Shrivastava 2-11, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5, Siddhesh Pande bt Peeyush Prasad 13-11, 11-9, 11-5); Semifinals: Maharashtra A bt PSPBA 3-2 (Sanish Ambekar bt Birdie Boro 12-10, 11-6, 11-4, 11-8, Ravindra Kotiyan lost to Lalrin Puia 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 14-12, 10-12, Sanish/Ravindra bt Manav Thakkar/Birdie Boro 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10, Sanish Ambekar lost to Lalrin Puia 8-11, 8-11, 8-11, Ravindra Kotiyan bt Bidie Boro 11-9, 13-11, 11-8); Delhi bt West Bengal 3-1 (Utkarsh Gupta bt Hirakjyoti Pusilal 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-3, Himanshu Jindal bt Abhimanyu Mitra 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, Utkarsh/Himashu lost to Hirakjyoti/Abhimanyu 10-12, 5-11, 11-13, Utkarsh Gutpa bt Abhimanyu Mitra 11-4, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5).

Youth Girls: Team Final: PSPB bt Maharashtra A 3-2 (Manika Batra bt Mallika Bhandarkar 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7, Reeth Rishya lost to Charvi Kawle 11-6, 8-11, 4-11, 4-11, Archana Kamath bt Ashlesha Trehan 11-7, 11-6, 11-4, Manika Batra lost to Charvi Kawle 8-11, 11-13, 11-2, 8-11, Reeth Rishya bt Mallika Bhandarkar 14-12, 11-6, 11-4); Semifinals: Maharashtra A bt Telangana 3-2 (Charvi Kawle bt Mounika Manohar 13-15, 13-11, 11-6, 11-4, Mallika Bhanarkar bt Naina 13-15, 11-3, 11-8, 12-10, Ashlesha Trehan lost to Varuni Jaiswal 9-11, 10-12, 9-11, Charvi Kawle bt Naina 11-9, 11-9, 3-11, 11-13, 11-5, PSPB bt Kerala 3-1 (Reeth Rishya lost to Maria Rony 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, Manika Batra bt Gia Anna George 11-2, 10-12, 11-8, 11-5, Senhora D’Souza bt Jasmine Sunny 11-6, 11-5, 13-11).

Junior Girls: Singles Final: ShrutiAmrute (MHA) bt Maria Rony (KER) 3-1 (7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4, 11-5); Semifinals: Maria Rony bt Riti Shankar (DEL) 4-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7), Shruti Amrute bt Sreeja Akula 4-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-6).

A TTFI Press release

Telangana girls, Maharashtra boys lift junior silverwares

Alappuzha, November 27, 2014: Telangana denied a complete Maharashtra Day in Kerala. The girls from the state that was newly carved out of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, beat Maharashtra A to win their maiden crown with a 3-1 verdict but Maharashtra’s boys outplayed Delhi with a 3-0 triumph in the finals of the 76th Junior National and Youth Table Tennis Championships at the Radha Convention Centre here today.

If Maharashtra had taken quite a long period to win a junior boys’ team title, having won it way back in the nineties, the credit should go to the Telagana girls celebrated success in their first attempt.

If Ravindra Kotiyan was the difference between Maharashtra and Delhi, the little girl Sreeja Akula, who is part of the four-member Indian team for the World Junior Championships at Shanghai, was distinctly the star player for Telagana to shape the victory. She not only won both her singles but also combined well to win the doubles while Maharashtra’s No. 1 player Shruti Amrute could not produce that kind of a performance.

Sreeja, who had to get a massage for her pain in the elbow, played a stellar role after being down 0-2 in the match against Payal Bohra. That win upper her confidence to a new level and from there she never looked back.

Timeouts, when cleverly taken, can make or break a team’s fortunes. In fact, a timely timeout proved to be game changer for Telangana in the Junior Girls semifinals as Naina, rising like a Phoenix from the ashes, helped her team beat Kerala 3-2 to enter the final. In the other semifinal, Maharashtra’s A squad beat Maharashtra B 3-1.

Kerala, down 0-2, put up a brave fight when Seraha Jacob and Maria Rony won the crucial doubles against Sreeja Akula and Naina. Then Maria beat a visibly uncomfortable Sreeja in reverse singles to give Kerala a realistic chance of reaching the final. Seraha Jacob almost accomplished the task but team coach M. Venugopal asking for timeout when Naina was lealding 6-5 after being down 2-5, proved to be to Telangana’s advantage.

Yet, Seraha down 2-7 narrowed down the lead to come close at 6-7. That was when Kerala coach called for timeout and the game changed for the worst as an attacking Seraha went into her shell with forehand deserting her at crucial junctures. Naina seized the opportunity and went all out to post the win.

If Kerala girls suffered at the hands of Telangana, title-holders PSPB made blunders with Birdie Boro having to play three matches, including the doubles as they they went down to Maharashtra A 2-3 in the Junior Boys semifinals. The experienced Boro came a cropper and it took a heavy toll on the PSPBA boys as Ravindra Kotiyan’s superb display clinched the issue for the winners.

In the other match, Delhi simply ran over West Bengal with Utkarsh Gupta and Himanshu Jindal doing a fine job. However, the Delhi pair lost their doubles but Utkarsh made up for it by winning his reverse singles too.

The junior girls singles finals are also slated for the day as the Indian girls will be leaving for New Delhi tomorrow morning to board the flight to Shanghai the day after. 
Junior Boys: Team Final: Maharashtra A bt Delhi 3-0 (Ravindra Kotiyan bt Utkarsh Gupta 12-10, 11-5, 12-10, Sanish Ambekar bt Shivan Shrivastava 13-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, Ravindra/Sanish bt Shiven Banga/Shivam 11-3, 11-8, 11-6); Semifinals: Delhi bt West Bengal 3-1 (Utkarsh Gupta bt Hirakjyoti Kushilal 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-3, Himanshu Jindal bt Abhimanyu Mitra 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, Utkarsh/Himanshu lost to Hirakjyoti/Souvik Bannerjee 12-10, 11-5, 13-11, Utkarsh Gupta bt Abhimanyu Mitra 11-4, 11-4, 6-11, 11-5); Maharashtra A bt PSPBA 3-2 (Sanish Ambekar bt Birdie Boro 12-10, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, Ravindra Kotiyan lost to Lalrinpuia 8-11, 11-6, 5-11, 14-12, 10-12, Sanish/Ravindra bt Manav Thakkar/Boro 7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10, Sanish Ambekar lost to Lalrinpuia 8-11, 8-11, 8-11, Ravindra Kotiyan bt Birdie Boro 11-9, 13-11, 11-8).

Junior Girls: Team Final: Telangana bt Maharashtra A 3-1 (Naina lost to Shruti Amrute 11-13, 6-11, 7-11, Sreeja Akula bt Payal Bohra 9-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 11-4, Naina/Sreeja bt Shruti/Ashlesha Trehan 11-6, 11-2, 11-2, Sreeja Akula bt Shruti Amrute 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 11-9); Semifinals: Maharashtra A bt Maharashtra B 3-1 (Ashlesha Trehan lost to Srushti Halengadi 8-11, 10-12, 9-11, Shruti Amrute bt Manasi Chhajed 10-12, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8, Ashlesha/Shruti bt Manasi/Srushti 11-8, 12-10, 12-14, 3-11, 11-7, Shruti Amrute bt Srushti Halengadi 11-8, 13-15, 11-5, 11-6); Telangana bt Kerala 3-2 (Reeja Akula bt Seraha Jacob 6-11, 13-15, 11-8, 11-9, 11-2), Naina bt Maria Rony 8-11, 6-11, 13-11, 11-7, 14-12, Reeja/Naina lost to Seraha/Maria 5-11, 15-13, 6-11, 11-9, 5-11, Sreeja Akula lost to Maria Rony 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 12-14, Naina bt Seraha Jacob 8-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-8).

TTFI Press release