Hectic day for players and officials
Aizawl, November 18: With the day’s matches having been rescheduled to accommodate stranded players in the Sub-Junior and Cadet categories of the 11Even Sports National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships, it was very hectic for the players and match officials at the R Dengthuama Multipurpose Indoor Stadium at Mualpui here today.
Unmindful of the problems they faced, the 30-odd players arrived here 26 hours late and straightaway headed for their matches at the venue, after a couple of hours travel from the airport.
Some of the first round matches in the Sub-Junior Boys generated keen interest as were the ones between Sudipta Chakraborty of West Bengal and Hrishikesh M. Bhatt from Kerala, Harshil Kothari of Gujarat and Jash Modi of Maharashtra, Rudra Narayan Ghosh and Manav Mehtra of Maharshtra, Harsh Patel of Guajrat and Aryamaan Das of Assam and Haryna’s Lalroluahapuia and Roopan Santhosh of Tamil Nadu.
The Kerala, who had to suffer the flight cancellation at Guwahati yesterday, made a valiant effort before losing his first round match to Sudipa Chakraborty 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11. But what was important was he did put up a brave fight to make a match of it.
Similarly, Jash Modi, another sufferer, went down fighting to Harshil Kothari 7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 10-12. His state mate, Manav Mehta failed to survive the onslaught of a gutsy Rudra Narayan who won 5-11, 11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7 and Harsh Patel has to thanks his stars for a nice comeback win against Assam boy Aryamaan with the former turning it around 8-11, 14-12, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7. Except for the first and last games, all the other three were won on extended points.
Master Lalroluahpuia, originally from Mizoram and who took transfer to Haryana, outlasted Tamil Nadu’s Roopan. In this see-saw match, both swapped wins until the decider which the Haryana boy won, thanks to a thumping support from the locals.
In comparison, the second round matches were more one-sided and even the Sub-Junior Girls first round matches did not throw up any surprise as the favourites inched closer to qualification.
With 350 matches scheduled for the day in all four sections, the Cadet Boys and Cadet Girls were hurrying through their first round matches as all competitors have to complete three rounds today. Tomorrow, the last day of the championships, will feature only the main draw events, including the finals.
“Despite problems to other players, we are happy to have accommodated all players that had sent in their entries. After all, they are spending so much to come all the way here to play matches. We couldn’t have denied them the chance of competing in the last zonal event,” said Competition Manager N. Ganeshan.