Golden moment for Moumita; Priyanka gets silver


Golden moment for Moumita; Priyanka gets silver

New Delhi, November 5: One-year ban seems to have do world of good to Moumita Datta. The West Bengal girl defeated Rajasthan’s Priyanka Pareek 4-1 to win her maiden Junior Girls crown in the ongoing Vatika National
Ranking (North Zone) Table Tennis Championships, being played at the Hansraj Model School here today. Returning to the arena after a year’s suspension—she was banned for misrepresenting her age—Moumita had been in good form from season opener at Chennai (South Zone). But today she blossomed to not only reach the final but also annex the title in a somewhat one-sided final.

Priyanka, who had also entered her maiden final, could not match Moumita’s guile as the former failed to adapt herself to the game plan of the West Bengal girl, who was clever in mixing her strokes. It did not suit the
normally fast player like Priyanka as the southpaw struggle from game one. She was making far too many mistakes and was struggling to return. Priyanka was also guilty of not playing her original attacking game.

On the other hand, Moumita went 2-0 up before losing a game to her rival. But that was all Priyanka could do as the West Bengal paddler did well to pull the shutters down early. Priyanka, somehow, failed to repeat her
semifinal form.

Intensity intact
In the semifinals held this afternoon, both the Junior Girls semifinals turned out to intensely fought matches. In the first, Moumita Datta had to face some nervous moments throughout against Maharashtra’s Srushti Haleangadi before emerging 4-3 triumphant, the match going the full distance of seven games.

After Srushti made it 3-3, it was anybody’s match from there onwards. However, the West Bengal girl had a firm grip with a sizeable lead of 6-3 and that was when Srushti replied in strong terms to bring down the lead to
6-7. But then some poor returns and netting saw Moumita go up 9-7 and from there it was difficult for the Maharashtra girl to come back. She hit once outside and netted the next to put Moumita in the driver’s seat.

In the second too saw one game less played but was in no way less severe in intensity with Priyanka Pareek overwhelming West Bengal counterpart Kaushani Nath 4-2. Priyanka was comfortably placed with a 3-1 lead and her
West Bengal rival just about managed to take one more game before the Rajasthan left-hander finished it off to enter her first final. She had reached the Youth Girls semifinals, her best performance ever, at the Central Zone at Jamnagar. However, in the Junior Girls this remains her best to this date.

In the morning session, there were two tough quarterfinal matches, one of which saw No. 2 seed Varuni Jaiswal of Telangana biting the dust, going down to Priyanka Pareek 4-2. Varuni had won the West Zone title at Thane.

The Rajasthan southpaw, a much improved paddler, played superbly against the much acclaimed rival in the see-saw battle, two games of which went into extra points and won by Priyanka. In the other match, Srushti Haleangadi had to bring out her best to get the better off Yashini Sivakumar from Tamil Nadu. Both played really well that it was difficult to separate the winner until the decider which Shrushti won with some ease.

It was disappointing to see Archana Kamath lacking in confidence and it was evident against her West Bengal opponent Moumita Datta as the AAI girl went down 0-4 without much of a fight. No doubt, Moumita is a good player, but Archana was going through a bad patch ever since she returned from a global tour, from Croatia to Japan. Another West Bengal paddler Kaushani Nath simply ran through Tamil Nadu’s Abhinaya Ramesh to enter the semifinals.


Junior Girls: Final:

Moumita Datta (WB) bt Priyanka Pareek (Raj) 4-1 (11-5, 11-9, 5-11, 11-7, 11-6); 
Moumita Datta bt Srushhti Haleangadi (Mah) 9-11, 11-4, 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 
Priyanka Pareek bt Kaushani Nath (WB) 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 3-11, 11-4; 
Srushti Haleangadi bt Yashini Sivakumar (TN) 11-9, 7-11, 5-11, 11-7, 12-10,6-11, 11-8, 
Moumita Dutta bt Archana Kamath (AAI) 11-5, 11-8, 11-7, 11-5,
Kaushani Nath bt Abhinaya Ramesh (TN) 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6, 
Priyanka Pareek bt Varuni Jaiswal (Telg) 7-11, 12-10, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10.

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