Table Tennis: Qualification problems for group leaders
Bhavnagar: The second day of the UTT National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the SAG Sports Complex here saw the men and women singles qualifiers getting underway with quite a few topsy-turvy results in group matches today.
With just two rounds in each section scheduled for the day, players seemed relaxed but some of the favourites, especially in top groups, failed to make a match of it. In the first round, Canara Bank defeated Poulami Das of West Bengal 4-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, young Rupsa Bhattacharya of West Bengal accounted for Misbah Sumar of Maharashtra 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 and Trisha Gogoi of Assam going down to Shreya Deshpande of Railways 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11.
Though Frenaz Chipia of Gujarat beat her Delhi rival Vanshika Bhargava 11-8, 11-6, 11-5, her sister Zena, who plays for ESIC, lost to another Delhi girl, Tamanna Saini 5-11, 4-11, 3-11 in their first-round outings.
In the second-round matches, Moumita Dutta of Railways struggled to overcome a fighting Namna Jaiswal of Guajrat. The Railways paddler won 11-7, 3-11, 11-4, 5-11, 11-7. Surbhi Patwari, the promising West Bengal paddler, was down 1-2 before overcoming her Maharashtra rival Tejal Kamble 7-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 but group 7 leader, Nikhat Banu of RBI went down to Munmun Kundu of West Bengal 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 6-11, which may jeopardise her chance into the main draw.
Tamil Nadu’s Nithyashree Mani was in a similar position against experienced Senhora D’Souza of Bank of Baroda, trailing 1-2. But the Tamil Nadu girl outwitted Senhora winning the second round 9-11, 11-8, 2-11, 11-7, 11-7, strengthening her chance of qualification for the second stage. In yet another thriller, Anannya Basak of Maharashtra defeated Anushree Hazra of Railways 3-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.
In men singles qualification, traver-weary Payas Jain went down tamely to Mathivanan Kalaivanan of Raiwlays 9-11, 9-11, 9-11 while Mani Subhas of IA &AD had to fight hard to beat the stuffing out of Gujarat’s Ishaan Hingorani. The Audit paddler won 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 13-11.
Pushlal Kiranjoy of West Bengal beat Souvik Kar of Raiwlays in a struggle 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 14-12, 11-7 to take a bigger stride while experienced Nitin Thiruvengadam of Bank of Baroda was stretched a bit by Meetrajsinh Jadeja of Daman & Diu but Nitin managed to win 11-5, 11-7, 3-11, 11-3. Delhi’s Arush Dutt downed Gautam Dhruvansh of Uttarakhand 7-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 14-12.
The day also saw quite a few walkovers in both categories.
Yesterday evening, a technical fault in electric supply at the stadium forced the competition department to declare the finalists in men and women sections as joint winners. When the matches were suspended, Gujarat and Maharashtra were locked 1-1, while Maharashtra A had the edge over the B team in deciding rubber. Hosts women Gujarat finished with a bronze medal in the team event.
Earlier in the semi-finals, Gujarat beat Maharashtra B 3-0, while Maharashtra A downed Madhya Pradesh by the same margin. As for the women semis, Maharashtra B defeated Gujarat 3-2 and Maharashtra A overcame Madhya Pradesh 3-2.