TABLE TENNIS FEDERATION OF INDIA
Thane, October 16: Nine out of a host of local paddlers qualified for the Junior Girls while only eight could make the cut in the Junior Boys section of the ongoing Thane Mayor Cup 2015 National Ranking (West Zone) Table Tennis Championship here at the Dadoji Kondev Stadium today. With the main draw matches in both events getting underway only tomorrow, all the boys and girls will have a reasonable breathing space today with some exceptions as a few have also entered to play in the Youth categories. But unfortunately, not a single girl from Maharashtra figures among the eight top-ranked Junior Girls, Shruti Amrute having dropped down to the 10th spot in the order. In fact, Shruti had to play the qualifiers and along with her eight other players have made it to the main draw, which is heartening news for the hosts. Dyuti Patki, Manasi Chiplunkar, Trehan Ashlesha, Manushree Patil, Swastika Ghosh, Mansi Deshpande, Aditi Sinha and Shreya Deshpande are the other qualifiers. Both Manushree and Swastika yesterday reached the sub-junior final with the former winning the title for the second successive time. R. Harshavardhini of Tamil Nadu leads the pack of seeding list and is followed by AAI’s Archana Kamath, Abhinayan Ramesh (TN), Sreeja Akula (AAI), Tanisi Kirtani (Goa), Shalu Noorbasha (AP), Varuni Jaiswal (Telg) and Seleenadeepthi Selvakuar (TN) who occupy the top eight slots. But with the main draw being of 64 players with 32 qualifiers joining the select gang, there are 24 byes on offer. This means, in addition to the top eight players, 16 qualifiers will also benefit and won’t appear in the first round which starts tomorrow. West Bengal takes the second spot in pushing five qualifiers to the main draw with other states not throwing in more than a couple of players. In comparison, Tejas Kamble, Lohpatre Gaurav, Ajay Singh Patil, Rajat Kadam, Aniruddha Marathe, Tanmay Rane, Jignesh Rahatwal and Josh Dalvi are the eight who reached the Junior Boys main draw from the hosts’ side. PSPB’s Anukram Jain, who won the sub-junior boys title yesterday, his academy-mate Reagen and Lalhunhlal have also joined the ranks of qualifiers. Tamil Nadu yet again has proved to be a good base for throwing up potential players. Both Sachin Vishwanath and S.K. Ramesh from the state have made the cut. Similarly, West Bengal has three players and North Bengal two, and Delhi’s threesome in Parth Virmani, Shivjit Singh Lamba and Hardik Khurana entering the second stage. Manush Shah from Gujarat, Shreyas Kulkarni, B. Rakshit and N. Nikhil from Karantaka, Sarthak Seth and Divyansh Srivastava from UP have qualified. The Junior Boys draw will again be of 64 players with 20 byes. Apart form the top eight players—Ronit Bhanja (WB), Jeet Chandra (WB), Ananth Devarajan (TN), Siddhesh Pande (Mah), Anirban Ghosh (WB), Abhimanyu Mitra (WB), Ashwin Subramanian (Mah) and Mahav Thakkar (PSPBA)—12 others ranked players, including some qualifiers would play from round two. Meanwhile, the qualification matches in men’s and women’s singles began and all the participants will play two rounds today. After the third round tomorrow, the main draw matches will start the same evening. The qualification matches for the Youth sections are slated for tomorrow.