TABLE TENNIS FEDERATION OF INDIA
A-class performance by ‘B’ team
Bagful of medals for Indians
Indore, September 10: Ravindra Kotiyan and his partner Sanish Ambekar not only exacted a sweet revenge from Saudi Arabia’s duo of Ali Akhadrawi and Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi but also made the 11Even Sports 2015 India Junior and Cadet Open Table Tennis Championships utterly an Indian show. The India B pair, propelled by Kotiyan, beat Saudi Arabia 3-1 at the Abhay Prashal here today to complete the sweep of team championship medals. Apart from the gold medals, the various teams of India won all the silver and bronze medals on offer.
With three team titles already in pocket, the Kotiyan-Ambedkar duo had to overcome the Saudi team members who had topped their group by beating India B earlier. But Kotiyan and Ambekar, learning their lessons, changed their strategy in the final to simply outwit the visitors. The Saudis had to be content with the silver.
“The doubles proved to be crucial and we combined really well after being down 2-1. That was the game changer,” admitted the duo. “I was comfortable against left-hander Ali and our strategy was to open with Sanish. Despite a good game, he lost. But I am happy to have made amends on behalf of the team,” said Kotiyan on his maiden title win.
Earlier in the group match, too, India A suffered defeat at the hands of India C. Yet, they made it to the semifinals being the second team in the group. On the other hand, India B with Ravindra Kotiyan and Sanish Ambekar tested group topper and Saudi Arabian duo that spent some nervous moments.
In the opening match, Alkhadrawi went down to 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6 Ravindra Kotiyan but in the immediately ensuing match Abdulaziz nearly followed suit. He was stretched to the very limit by Sanish, only emerging successful by the very minimal margin in the decider (9-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 12-10). The Saudis secured the doubles (11-8, 13-11, 11-1), before Alkhadrawi returned to beat Sanish 9-11, 11-3, 11-9, 12-10.
India A wins girls title
Represented by Sreeja Akula and Seraha Jacob, India ‘A’ won the Junior Girls’ Team title, the first title to be decided. India A finished ahead of teammate Riti Shankar and Selena Selvakumar, representing India ‘C,’ with the India ‘B’ Team duo of Shriti Vijay Amrute and Maria Rony in the bronze medal position in the round-robin league event. The Kazakh girls, with Malika Ilkhamzhanova and Yuliya Ryabova, on duty finished fourth.
India A, within a whisker of a 3-0 defeat, when Shruti Amrute recovered from a two-game deficit to beat Sreeja Akula by the very narrowest of margins in the deciding fifth game (5-11, 7-11, 11-8, 13-11, 13-11), before Maria Rony overcame Seraha Jacob in a rather more comfortable manner (11-4,11-5, 11-3). With a 2-0 cushion, India ‘B’ failed to press the advantage as India A made a nice recovery.
In a tense doubles, determined by the minimal two-point margin (12-10, 16-18, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10) their recovery began. Sreeja beat Maria (11-8,11-9, 11-8) before Seraha completed the task when she overcame Shruti (11-9, 11-1, 11-8) to win the medal.
Earlier in the day, Riti Shankar steered India C to victory against India B. Riti beat Maria Rony 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 in the second rubber and Shruti Amrute in the fifth for 12-10, 11-8, 10-12, 11-6 verdict, with Selenadeepthi Selvakumar adding further success as she defeated Shruti 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 6-11, 11-5. The two wins for India B came in the doubles (12-10, 11-7, 11-7) and from Maria Rony in the fourth match when she downed Selena 11-6, 11-2, 11-5.
Archana Kamath and Srusthi had a lot of little difficulty in putting it across India E’s Priyanka Pareek and Saundriya Pathak. A lot was depended on Archana but Priyanka, who has had a good outing here, played brilliantly to stretch the final. Priyanka had it sewn up when, in the fourth game, she led 8-6 and 9-7 against Archana. But three easy points to Archana turned out to be the game changer for India A squad. Archana, after squandering two match points, held on to the third and win the title. She had missed it at Goa last year.
As for the duo of Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah, it was short of a cakewalk against India D’s Raegan Albuquerque and Shaurya Pednekar. The top-seeded team made the final a one-sided affair.
The singles events begin from tomorrow with the finals slated for Sunday.
Results (Team championships):
Cadet Boys: Final: India A bt India D 3-0 (Manush Shah bt Shaurya Pednekar 11-9, 11-2, 13-15, 11-9, Manav Thakkar bt Raegan Albuquerque 11-3,7-11, 11-8, 12-10, Manav/Manush bt Shaurya/Raegn 11-7, 11-9, 11-9);
India A bt India C 3-0 (Manush Shah bt Snehit Suravajjula 1-12, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, Manav Thakkar bt Shivjit Lamba 11-2, 11-5,
11-3, Manav/Manush bt Snehit/Shivijit 11-9, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5); India D bt India E 3-2 (Raegan Albuquerque bt Anukram Jain 11-7, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, Shaurya Pednekar lost to Parth Virmani 8-11, 6-11, 8-11, Raegan/Shaurya lost to Parth/Anukram 11-9, 12-10, 6-11, 12-10, Raegan Albuquerque lost to Parth Virmani 4-11, 11-8, 6-11, 8-11, Shaurya Pednekar bt Anukram Jain 11-3, 11-8, 11-2).
Cadet Girls: Final:
India A bt India E 3-1 (Srushti Haleangadi lost to Priyanka Pareek 14-13, 11-8, 3-11, 10-12, 7-11, Archana Kamath Girish bt
Saundriya Pathak 11-4, 11-5, 11-3, Achana/Srushti bt Priyanka/Saundriya 11-7, 11-8, 11-5, Archana Kamath bt Priyanka Pareek 9-11, 5-11, 13-11,11-4, 14-12); *Semifinals*: India A bt India B 3-0 (Srushti Haleangadi bt Varuni Jaiswal 11-8, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, Archana Kamath Girish bt Diya Chaitale Parag 11-8, 14-12, 11-8, Srushti/Archana bt Varruni/Diya 11-3,9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9); India E bt India C 3-1 (Priyanaka Pareek bt Tanisi Kirtani 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9, Saundarya Pathak lost to Prapti Sen 8-11, 11-13, 6-11, Saundarya/Priyanka bt Tanisi/Prapti 11-7, 1-11, 13-11,12-10, Priyanka Pareek bt Prapti Sen 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 12-10).
Junior Boys: Final:
India B bt Saudi Arabia 3-1 (Sanish Ambekar lost to Ali Alkhadrawi 8-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 4-11, Ravindra Kotiyan bt Abdulaziz
Bu Shulaybi 8-11, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9, Ravindra/Sanish bt Alkhadrawi/Abdulaziz 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, Ravindra Kotiyan bt
Alkhadrawi 11-4, 11-3, 11-7; *Semifinals*: India B bt India C 3-0 (Ravindra Kotiyan bt Abhimanyu Mitra 11-4, 11-8, 11-7, Sanish Ambekar bt Siddhesh Pande 11-6, 11-8, 11-5, Ravindra/Sanish bt Siddhesh/Abhimanyu 6-11, 11-8,11-5, 11-6); Saudi Arabia bt India A 3-1 (Abdulaziz Bushulaybi lost to Lalrin Puia 8-11, 6-11, 10-12, Ali Alkhadrawi bt Utkarsh Gupta 11-6, 11-4,11-13, 11-5, Ali/Abdulaziz bt 9-11, 11-5, 4-11, Puia/Gupta 11-2, 11-5,11-8, Ali Alkhadrawi bt Lalrin Puia 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9).
India A (gold), India C (silver), India B (bronze).