Amalraj, Madhurika give finishing touches
Aizawl, November 17: Anthony Amalraj defeated Sanil Shetty 4-3 to lift the men’s singles trophy while Madhurika Patkar decimated an in-form Reeth Rishya 4-1 to hold aloft the women singles trophy in the 11Even Sports National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the R Dengthuama Multipurpose Indoor Stadium at Mualpui here today.
For both Amalraj and Madhurika, it was the second title this season as they had won the North Zone Championships at Chandigarh in June.
Amalraj, who missed three zonal meets in between, came into this essentially to gain vital points and did it admirably with a well-fought win over favourites Sanil Shetty, who led 2-0. But Amalraj quickly came into his groove and took the next three to go one up before Shetty equalized by taking the sixth game. However, in the decider, it was Amalraj who prevailed over his rival with some crucial winners as they were separated by minimal points.
Madhurika did not bother about the hot form of Reeth and led 3-0.With Madhurik already having established a nice cushion, the onus was on an injured Reeth who stuttered and just about managed to take the fourth game, on extended points. In fact, the next game, too, got extended and saw four deuces before Madhurika could win on her third match point.
YASHINI’S MAIDEN CROWN
Manav Thakkar completed a back-to-back double as he added Junior Boys title to his Youth Boys crown won yesterday. In the final today, he beat West Bengal’s Jeet Chandra 4-0. In Youth Girls, Tamil Nadu’s Yashini Sivashankar beat Maharashtra’s Manushree patil 4-3 in a tough final. Yashini, coming from a poor background and with a lot of potential and determination, unveiled some astonishing strokes of hers to outwit Manushree for her maiden title.
This will not only up her confidence level but will prepare her well for the forthcoming Youth and Junior Nationals to be played at Vadodara in January.
As expected, both men’s semifinals were hotly contested and the ones that held his nerve got through as it happened in the case of Amalraj in particular. He was down 0-3 and, having warmed up nicely, launched his onslaught on Sudhanshu Grover from the fourth game. The latter, failing to withstand, wilted to a systematic and fast forehand attack by Amalraj. Surprisingly, several good rallies, too, made this semifinal a better one than the first between Sanil Shetty and Subhajit Saha.
Saha, a veteran, had his limitations against Sanil Shetty. It was going neck and neck till the fourth game with both sharing the spoils. But the left-handed not only changed gears but also used the flanks well to outwit his opponent despite Saha showing some revival in the sixth extended game.
Reeth Rishya, who ran into her best form of the season, first brushed aside Mouma Das’s resilient mood—she was down 1-3 and then levelled 3-3—and then a minor ankle problem to continue her winning ways in the women’s singles semifinal. She won 4-3 to take on Madhurika Patkar, who overcame a stiff resistance from K. Shamini to win 4-3.
Similarly, there was one semifinal each in the Junior Boys and Girls that went down to the wire. Jeet Chandra’s win over Gujarat’s Manush Shah came in the decider after the two had matched each other with good strokes and long rallies to light up the proceedings. Equally lively was the semifinal between Yashini Sivashankar of Tamil Nadu and Prapti Sen of West Bengal. Yashini pulled out a bagful of tricks when the going was tough to win the last three games after being down 1-3.
Men’s Singles: Final: Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 7-11, 9-11, 13-11, 11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9; Semifinals: Sanil Shetty bt Subhajit Shah (PSPB) 11-8, 6-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11; Anthony Amalraj bt Sudhanshu Grover (PSPB) 10-12, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8, 11-6.
Women’s Singles: Final: Madhurika Patkar (PSPB) bt Reeth Rishya (TN) 11-7, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 15-13; Semifinals: Reeth Rishya bt Mouma Das (PSPB) 14-12, 11-2, 8-11, 12-10, 3-11, 5-11, 11-9; Madhurika Patkar bt K. Shamini (PSPB) 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 3-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6.
Junior Boys’ Singles: Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Jeet Chandra (WB) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10; Semifinals: Manav Thakkar bt Parth Virmani 11-5, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6; Jeet Chandra bt Manush Shah (Guj) 4-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7.
Junior Girls’ Singles: Final: Yashini Sivashankar (TN) bt Manushree Patil (Mah) 8-11, 11-6, 14-12, 11-8, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7; Semifinals: Yashini Sivashankar bt Prapti Sen (WB) 11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 12-10; Manushree Patil bt Kushi Viswanath (MNT) 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6.