Thursday, September 29, 2016

Manav, Moumita claim Junior titles

Indore, September 28, 2016: Putting his quarterfinal loss in Youth Boys behind, top-seed Manav Thakkar of PSPB outplayed West Bengal’s Jeet Chandra to lift the Junior Boys title with a 4-0 verdict even as Moumita Datta, making amends for her state mate’s loss, defeated Maharashtra’s Manushree Patil 4-2 for the Junior Girls crown in the 11Even Sports National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships starts at the Abhay Prashal here today.

Manav had just about 10 minutes break after his Youth Boys quarterfinal in which he lost to Delhi’s Utkarsh Gupta 4-3. Forgetting the disappointment, Manav stepped into the show-court arena with all determination to play the Junior Boys final and it was visible from the word go as the end-result showed.

After leading 3-0, Manav was pushed to the wall in the fourth game when Jeet led 10-7. But Manav, who is known to come out of any tricky situation, did the impossible and won the four game 12-10 . In fact, he was unstoppable before that even for a player of Jeet’s calibre who is equally adept at attacking.  

Never did any of them relented from attacking and the final made everyone’s day, including Manav’s who was able to go home with at least one title after being in contention for a double.  
Moumita Datta played a far superior game to her Maharashtra opponent Manushree Patil and deservingly lifted the winner’s trophy.

The intense final began with the players matching each other with strokes and the first game went into deuce before Moumita winning it on extended points. Then it was the turn of Manushree to win the next with the minimal point. It was then that the West Bengal paddlers upped the ante and took the next two games to go 3-1 up. But the Maharashtra girl fought back well to lead 8-0 but Moumita closed in on and yet lost fifth game very closely. In the sixth, Moumita surged into a good lead and kept hitting forehand winners to shut out Manushree.

Junior Boys: Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Jeet Chandra (WB) 11-9, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10;Semifinals: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Manush Shah (Guj) 9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10, Jeet Chandra (WB) bt Parth Virmani (Del) 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 14-12.
Junior Girls: Final: Moumita Datta (WB) beat Manushree Patil (Mah) 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5; Semifinals: Moumita Datta bt Shailu Noorbasha (AP) 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5, Manushree Patil  bt Srushti Haleangadi (Mah) 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9, 12-10.

TTFI release

Manav-Jeet showdown in Junior Boys final

Indore, September 28, 2016: Top-seed Manav Thakkar of PSPB decimated Gujarat’s Manush Shah 4-1 to enter the Junior Boys final of the 11Even Sports National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships starts at the Abhay Prashal here today.

Manav will take on Jeet Chandra in the final later tonight along with the girls match. The second-seeded West Bengal player defeated Delhi’s Parth Virmani 4-1, in an equally one-sided second semifinal.
Both the boys’ semifinals did not raise the kind of interests which the girls semifinals did. Yet, it must be said to the credit for both finalists that they never gave any leeway to their opponents and were just keen to wind up as early as possible for adequate rest before the final.

In a field thrown open to the unseeded players—not a single seed sprouted—in the Junior Girls section, two unseeded players made the occasion memorable for them winning their semifinal matches. In the first, West Bengal’s Moumita Datta defeated Andhra Pradesh’s Shailu Noorbasha 4-1, while it was Manushree Patil of Maharashtra, who downed state mate Srushti Haleangadi 4-1, in the second.
Moumita, who hasn’t had a steady season last year, was at her best today when she took on the Andhra girl. Both prone to attacking, Moumita committed fewer mistakes, particularly on her backhand, whereas Shailu’s error percentage increased by the game. For instance, Shailu looked good when she used the flanks to attack, forcing Moumita on the back foot in the first game which the former won.

After sizing her up and pulling her socks up, Momita did well to level the score in the second with blistering forehands, including some special winners down the line. This opened her out as she adopted the same method in the next three to stop Shailu on her tracks even as the Andhra girl was making more and more mistakes either at the net or failing to keep the ball on table.

A similar pattern was noticed in the Manushree-Srushti match as the latter opened with an easy win.  Yet, Manushree had an upper hand at least until the fifth game when Srushti cashed in on Manushree’s accurate shots deserted her suddenly to give a breather to her state mate. Nevertheless, she kept a slender lead but came down to a solitary point when Srushti made it 10-11 with a timeout. But the one-minute break only helped Manushree who received from Srjushti only to kill it with a precise forehand to the right corner for the match point.

Even in women’s singles, only two seeds—Manika Batra and Madhurika Patkar—survived while all others fell by the wayside on a hot afternoon. Top-seed Suthirtha Mukherjee, also title winner at the Institutional championships, went down to former national champion Paulomi Ghatak 4-3 in a thrilling pre-quarterfinal. She will meet in quarters Divya Deshpande who accounted for Krittwika Sinha Roy 4-3 after the latter squandered away a comfortable lead. Manika Batra beat Railways’ Anandita Chakraborty 4-0 and Ayhika Mukherjee handed out a similar verdict to Mouma Das from top half.

Reeth Rishya downed third seed Pooja Sahasrabuddhe 4-3 to earn a quarterfinal meeting with Ankita Das, who beat Archana Kamath 4-3 while K. Shamini won 4-1 against Takeme Sarkar and Madhurika Patkar beat Pooja Sharma 4-0 to complete the quarterfinal line-up from the bottom half.

Junior Boys: Semifinals: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Manush Shah (Guj) 9-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10, Jeet Chandra (WB) bt Parth Virmani (Del) 6-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 14-12.
Junior Girls: Semifinals: Moumita Datta (WB) bt Shailu Noorbasha (AP) 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5, Manushree Patil (mah) bt Srushti Haleangadi (Mah) 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9, 12-10.

TTFI release

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Ananth, Priyanka, Manushree enter main draw

Indore, September 27, 2016: Ananth Devarajan, celebrating his singles entry in the forthcoming World Junior Championships at Cape Town, South Africa, topped his group to enter the men’s singles main draw in the 11Even Sports National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships starts at the Abhay Prashal here today.

Drawn in group 23, he blanked out Delhi’s Sameer Sahni 12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-5. Ananth and Sameer having won against Saiel Wadwekar fromMadhya Pradesh, it was imperative for them to win the crucial match between the two. Ananth emerged triumphant with an emphatic 3-0 win. Earlier, Sameer struggled against local boy Saiel before winning 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5.

In group 24, Sanish Ambekar from Maharashtra pitch-forked himself to the top spot from original third position in the group with two wins over rivals Mohit Verma of Haryana and Subendhu Show from West Bengal. For Sanish, it was rather easy against the West Bengla paddler but Mohit from Haryana gave some anxious moments as he managed to take a game off Sanish who won 11-9, 11-6, 9-11, 11-5. But Airports Authority of India’s Anirban Ghosh failed to qualify from group 31 when he lost his third-round match against Arnab Sarkar 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 10-12, giving a clear main draw passage to the West Bengal player.

Manush Shah from Guajrat, placed in a four-man group 37, emerged on top with three fine wins, his notable 3-0 triumph coming against Akash Nath of West Bengal which paved his way into the second stage. Zubin Taraporwalla from Maharashtra, too, qualified with an all-win record in group 40. Other group qualifiers included Ayush Tayal from Haryana, Shreyas Telang from Karnataka, E. Prabhakaran from RSPB and Asif Haque from RBI. But for these players, all original group toppers had made it to the main draw.

In women’s singles, RBI’s Sweta Parte exited without making an impression, thanks to Railways Ashlesha Trehan who pushed her way into the main draw with a fine 3-0 win. She had earlier beaten Kefira Rodrigues of Goa 3-0. Manushree Patil from Maharashtra beat two of her group rivals in Shreya Ghosh (RSPB) and Assam’s Adrija Sharma to enter the women’s singles stage 2. But for these surprises, all top players expectedly went through the motion to qualify.

With 24 joining qualifiers joining the eight top-ranked players in Junior Girls, Maharashtra led by example with six of their players joining fourth-seeded Shruti Amrute, who got a direct main draw entry, to swell their number to seven in a field of 32 in the knockout stage. In comparison, North Bengal and Delhi have four paddlers making the necessary cut and leaving other states way behind.
The biggest surprise is that Rajasthan’s Priyanka Pareek has been seeded No. 1 for the first time, thanks to her nail-biting title-winning performance in the North Zone at Chandigarh. Priyanka beat West Bengal’s Prapti Sen 4-3 in the Junior Girls final.  

In the first round match later today, the left-hander takes on qualifier Priyanka Sarkar from North Bengal. Tamil Nadu’s Selenadeepthi Selvakumar and Abinaya Ramesh are behind the Rajathan girl at No. 2 and 3, while Shruti Amrute is followed by another Tamil Nadu girl, Yashini Sivashankar at No. 5. Manushree Patil, the winner of West Zone title last season, is at No. 6 with Varuni Jaiswal (Telangana) and Kushi Viswanath (Karnataka) following the Maharashtra girl, in that order.

Both Manushree Patil and Priyanka also qualified for the women’s singles main draw which showed that they are slowly but surely making inroads into untried territories.

Manav Thakkar has rightfully occupied the No. 1 spot in seeding in the Junior Boys with West Bengal’s Jeet Chandra behind him at No. 2 and they are followed by UP’s Sarthak Seth and Gujarat’s Manush Shah at No. 3 and 4 respectively.

All the eight seeded players and a few lucky ones have been given first-round bye with only 16 players play first-round matches. Of the eight, the best turned out to be the one between Tamil Nadu’s R. Santosh Kumar and Rohan Jamadagni from Karnataka. The Tamil Nadu paddler won 3-2 after some struggle to enter the second round.

Results (Main Draw):

Junior Boys: Round of 64: Jayabrata Bhattgcharjee (NB) bt Tejas Kamble (Mah) 5-11, 14-12, 11-9, 11-8, Hardikar Mandar (Mah) bt Ayan Pal (WB) 4-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-13, 11-9, Harsh Shristava (PSPBA) bt Abhirup P Roy (NB) 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, H. Jeho (PSPBA) bt Samrat Chakraborty (NB) 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4, Anukram Jain (PSPBA) bt Sai Tejesh (Telg) 11-5, 11-8, 11-6, Snehit Suravajjula (Telg) bt C. Kapil Somaiya (PSPBA) 17-15, 11-7, 13-11, Harshvardhan Lahoti (Telg) bt Ajaysingh Patil (Mah) 11-8, 6-11, 11-4, 11-2, Santosh Kumar. R (TN) bt rohan Jamadagni (KNT) 7-11, 11-3, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7.  

TTFI release

Costantini back at helm as chief table tennis coach

Massimo Costantini 

Indore, September 27, 2016: Hoping for a change of good fortune, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) has re-appointed Italian Massimo Costantini for a two-year period up toSeptember 30, 2018. He takes charge as chief coach of the national team from October 1 but having arrived in New Delhi a couple of days ago, the foreign visited the venue of the ongoing National Ranking (Central Zone) championships to have a close look at the players.

Max, as his fondly known and called by players, was with the Indian team from early 2009 till the end of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, guiding India to five medals including a men's doubles gold and a silver in the women's team event.

Soon after leaving India, Max has had a long-tem stint with a US club and guided some its players to glory. He was also the US team coach at Rio Olympics.

The federation had roped in Peter Engel in 2013 but the German’s contract was not renewed at the end of the Asian 2014 Games. Since then, table tennis did not have a foreign coach.
However, a conscientious decision was taken with support from the Sports Authority of India to bring back Max, who is known for his excellent rapport with the Indian players.

"All the players know him well and have a very good understanding with him. This was one of the reasons for bringing him back. And this time Costantini will focus on the junior and youth teams and will also have a say in selection matters. We are investing on youngsters and have to prepare them for major Games ahaed," said Dhanraj Choudhary, secretary general of TTFI.

The 58-year-old has his agenda clear. “I have an onerous task of bringing back things on track. I have been entrusted with a big responsibility and I am hopeful I will live up to the federation’s expectations,” said Max soon after his arrival here.

‘I am expecting a brief from TTFI soon so that I can straightaway start working. The TTFI wanted me to visit this event here so that I can look for promising talents,” added the coach.  

TTFI release