Manav defends his Junior title; Reeth upsets Mouma – Junior Boys champion

Chandigarh, June 29: Defending champion Manav Thakkar retained the Junior Boys title, beating Jeet Chandra of West Bengal in the 11Even Sports National Ranklet ing (North Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Panjab University Gymnasium Indoor Hall here today.

The PSPB Academy boy, running into an early form, disposed off his West Bengal rival 4-1. No doubt, he was missing his usual rhythm in the first game as he was stretched a bit by Jeet. He, however, soon settled down to play a fast game. Jeet, too, was up to it and managed to take a game off Manav in between before the Baroda boy shut him out with a crispy forehand, allowing him just two points. The win was worth Rs. 16,500 while Jeet received Rs. 8,200 for his effort.

Manav later admitted that he was a bit rusty but was confident of winning. “I made a few mistakes which led to the deuces twice. But I hit my rhythm nicely and was not worried when Jeet took the third game,” he said.

If the top women’s seed Manika Batra survived a scare from Maharashtra’s Senhora D’Souza to win her pre-quarterfinal game 4-2, second seeded Mouma Das got it all wrong against Reeth Rishya to go 3-4 down. Both Manika and Mouma had returned from Japan Open just a week ago but it was a different ball game at the first outing of the season for both.

In fact, Mouma who has had a bad game today, just followed the other seeds from PSPB—No. 6 Ankita Das, No. 7 Krittwika Sinha Roy and No. 8 Divya Deshpande—that failed to progress earlier in the day as they went down to qualifiers in the second round of the main draw. However, all the top-eight men seeds moved into the pre-quarterfinals.

Manika was reeling under enormous pressure as she had to keep her reputation intact. Senhora, on the other hand, had nothing to lose and played brilliantly to push the reigning national champion on the back foot. After taking 1-0 lead, Senhora had everything going for her as she went up 9-4 in the second as well as the third. But she let Manika off the hook as the Olympic-bound Delhi girl came back to win both from that position. That’s actually where Senhora was lost the plot even though the Maharashtra girl managed to win the fourth game. But then Manika had entrenched well after the great escape to sew it up quickly.

Mouma, bringing all her experience to the table, led 3-2. But Reeth, who has had this ability to come out of trouble—she did it in the South Zone event last year at Chennai—changed course to take the next two to seal the fate of the Rio-bound Mouma.

Former national champion Paulomi Ghatak, despite putting up a brave front, lost to Madhurika Patkar 3-4 and Paulomi’s husband, also a former national champion, too bit the dust in the second round of the main draw, losing to LIC’s Sougata Sarkar 1-4.

Both the men and women quarterfinals are slated for later tonight and they will play their last two rounds, including the finals on the concluding day tomorrow.

It was an easy semifinal outing for Manav Thakkar while Jeet Chandra had to dust off his rust before overcoming junior national champion Manush Shah to win 4-2.

Results:

Junior Boys:

Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Jeet Chandra (WB) 4-1 (13-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 11-2); Semifinals: Manav Thakkar bt Sarthak Seth (UP) 4-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2), Jeet Chandra bt Manush Shah (Guj) 4-2 (11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7); Quarterfinals: Manav Thakkar bt Aniruddh Marathe (Mah-A) 4-0 (11-8, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7), Sarthak Seth bt Ishant Hingorank (Guj) 4-1 (11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8), Manush Shah bt Yashansh Malik (Del) 4-2 (11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5), Jeet Chandra bt Shivaji Roy (JKD) 4-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7).

Women’s Singles:

PQF: Manika Batra bt Senhora D’Souza 4-2 (9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3), Chipia Frenaz (AAI) bt M.V. Spoorthy (Kar) 4-2 (11-7, 11-3, 11-6, 8-11, 5-11, 11-2), K. Shamini bt Ayhika Mukherjee (AAI) 4-0 (11-7, 14-12, 11-3, 11-5), Pooja Sahasrabuddhe bt Pallabi Kundu (RSPB) 4-2 (9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-3), Madhurika Patkar bt Mousumi Paul (WB) 4-0 (12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8), Suthirtha Mukherjee (WB) bt Garima Goyal (Del) 4-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6), Shruti Amrute (Mah-B) bt Nikhat Banu (Tel_ 4-1 (11-9, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10), Reeth Rishya bt Mouma Das 4-3 (11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Men’s Singles: 2nd Round:

A. Amalraj bt Pankaj Kumar (RSPB) 4-2 (8-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-4), Sourav Saha (WB) bt S. Snehit (Tel) 4-1 (11-3, 6-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-6), Sougata Sarkar (LIC) bt Soumyadeep Roy 4-1 (11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8), Subhajit Saha bt Sushmit Sriram (AAI) 4-1 (11-6, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-7), Abhishek Yadav bt Mohit Verma (Har) 4-1 (15-13, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4), Utkarsh Gupta (Del) bt Subham Ojah (Raj) 4-2 (11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 11-6), Ravindra Kotiyan (RSPB) bt Lalrin Puia (Miz) 4-1 (11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-4), G. Sathiyan bt Ronit Bhanja (AAI) 4-0 (15-13, 19-17, 11-5, 11-8), Sudhanshu Grover bt Vighyey Reddy (RBI) 4-2 (6-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 11-9), Subash Mani (IA&AD) bt Arjun Ghosh (WB) 4-1 (11-9, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12, 11-5), Anirban Nandi (RSPB) bt Sameet Sahni (Del) 4-0 (11-4, 13-11, 11-2, 11-5), Sanil Shetty bt Aman Balgu (Tel) 4-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9), Jubin Kumar (Har) bt Piyush Prasad (Del) 4-1 (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8), Siddhesh Pande (Mah) bt Birde Boro (PSPB) 4-2 (12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8), Manav Thakkar (PSPPB) bt Kironjoy Kushilal (WB) 4-0 (11-2, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6), Harmeet Desai bt Raj Mondal (RBI) 4-2 (11-9, 8-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7).

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