Table Tennis: Suhana, Preyesh are Sub-Junior top seeds

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Bhavnagar: Haryana’s Suhana Saini, with maximum ranking points in her kitty, has been given the pride of place, as Delhi’s Lakshita Narang followed her closely at No. 2 spot when the seeding was drawn for the Sub-Junior Girls in the UTT National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the SAG Sports Complex here today.

But in the title-race tomorrow, one can expect the two to figure apart from Kavyashree Baskar of Tamil Nadu. And the other six seeds that follow them in that order include Kavyashree Baskar, Taneesha Kotecha of Maharashtra, Nehal Venkatasamy of Tamil Nadu, Nilishma Sarkar of West Bengal, Pritha Vartikar of Maharashtra and Sneha Bowmick, also of West Bengal.

Similarly, Preyesh Raj Suresh of Tamil Nadu, yet again touted as the favourites to win the title, and Sarth Mishra of UP have been given the top billings among Sub-Junior Boys as No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. The others who are behind them include Jash Modi of Maharashtra, Divyansh Srivastava of UP, Ankur Bhattacharjee of West Bengal, Shivam Chandra, also of UP, while Aadil Anand and Rajveer Shah, both of Maharashtra, at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.

Not only the top eight seeds in both sections will enjoy first-round byes, but 16 among the 32 qualifiers will benefit from the largesse as the main draw will be of 64 slots. Indeed, the top group qualifiers will be the first ones to reap the benefits with a few others joining in a random draw.

With the Cadet and Sub-Junior Nationals at Dharamsala just four days away, the thin attendance of players, which resulted in several walkovers, is understandable but the pullouts has given a breather to those in the fray as the notable players have preferred to opt out of the last championships.

Maharashtra, expectedly, topped the chart of qualifiers with their sheer number of participation as seven of their girls have made the main draw cut with Tamil Nadu following them with seven qualifiers. With more pullouts from West Bengal, only five of their girls could make it to the second stage with Delhi at fourth place with three players in the main draw.

Jeeya Lakhani of Gujarat was the lone representative for the hosts who, too, like many others benefited from walkover in group 13.

Among the Sub-Junior Boys, West Bengal lead the list with seven of their paddlers qualifying for the main draw while Maharashtra (5), Tamil Nadu and Gujarat (5 each) have a big say in the qualification rounds.

Among the Gujarat qualifiers, Sumith Nair and Harsh Patel figure among the early group toppers even as Mahiraj Jadeja and Dhyey Shah from the latter groups have made the cut.


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