Jamnagar, October 10: In what turned out to be a West Bengal Junior Boys final, Ronit Bhanja defeated state mate Jeet Chandra 4-0 to win his second title this season while it was Tamil Nadu’s R. Harshavardhini who won the Junior Girls crown in the ongoing JMC National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships, being held at the JMC Indoor Stadium, here today. Harshavardhini beat Telangana’s Sreeja Akula 4-0.
Incidentally, this was Ronit’s second successive title win, having won his first at Chennai, but for the Tamil Nadu girl it was her first, having missed it narrowly in the South Zone championships at Chennai.
No doubt, the results speak for the way the losing finalists’ meek surrender to the winners. In fact, Jeet Chandra, coming after a year’s ban, did everything right until the final where Ronit proved to be a hard nut to crack. However, Sreeja played the game well but was somehow unable to counter her superior opponent who, despite getting extended in the third game, sealed her Telangana rival’s fate. She first took the game 15-13 after four deuces and pulled the shutters down on Sreeja with an easy win in the next.
Meanwhile, in morning upsets top men’s seed Harmeet Desai went down to Omkar Torgalkar. The qualifier from Maharashtra was trailing 0-2 but staged a fine comeback to upstage the PSPB paddler, who happens to be from Gujarat. To say that it was a surprise win for Torgalkar is to take the credit away from the Maharashtrian boy who played brilliantly to win 4-2.
But another Gujarat paddler, Devesh Karia kept his quarterfinal date intact beating AAI’s Sarthak Gandhi 4-1 while other seeded players like Sanil Shetty struggled to down PSPB teammate Lalrin Puia 4-2, G. Sathiyan overcame Birdie Boro 4-2, Sudhanshu Grover (4-3) was stretched the full distance by AAI’s Sabhay Virmani, Abhishek Yadav accounted for veteran Soumyadeep Roy 4-3 and No. 2 seed Anthony Amalraj scored a 4-0 win over another AAI opponent Vivek Bhargav. Nitin Thiruvengadam, who beat Delhi’s Utkarsh Gupta 4-0, Omkar Torgalkar and Devesh Karia were the three odd men out in the quarterfinals as the rest are from PSPB.
Continuing upset saga, Tamil Nadu’s Abhinaya Ramesh ousted top-seed Shruti Amrute of Maharashtra 4-2 in Junior Girls. Even Varuni Jaswal from Telangana struggled to overcome Delhi’s Harsha Kalra 4-3 even as Akua Sreeja and R. Harshavardini won easily to move into the semifinals.
In Junior Boys quarterfinals, to unseeded players Ashwin Subramanian from Maharashtra and Jeet Chandra of West Bengal moved into the quarters beating Goa’s Wesley Do Rosario 4-1 and Jeet blanked out second seed Siddhesh Pande 4-0. However, it was easy for top-seeded Ronit Bhanja but not for No. 3 Ananth Devarajan of Tamil Nadu, who had to snatch a 4-3 win over West Bengal’s Anirban Ghosh.
In Youth Boys and Youth Girls, almost all seeded players easily moved into the quarterfinals. However, there was one exception as Delhi’s Utkarsh Gupta bowed out in the pre-quarters to Ronit Bhanja 3-4 (2-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9, 4-11). The Delhi boy lifted his game up after 0-3 down only to lose steam in the decider which the West Bengal lad won with a lot
Reeth Rishya (PSPB), Priyanka Pareek (Raj), Sreeja Akula (Telg) and Manika Batra (PSPB) made it to the Youth Girls semifinals without any trouble. But Ayhika Mukerjee (AAI) must be ruing her loss to the Rajasthan girl, who won 11-8, 10-12, 13-11, 11-7, 3-11, 1-11, 11-5, after putting up a good fight.
In Youth Boys quarterfinals, both PSPB teammates Abhishek Yadav and Sudhanshu Grover lost to Birdie Boro, also of PSPB, and Ravindra Kotiyan of Maharashtra, respectively. Boro won 4-1 while Kotiyan 4-2 to enter the semifinals.
In other matches, Ronit Bhanja displayed his superb form yet again to beat AAI’s Vivek Bhargava 4-1 and Karnataka’s Shreyal Telang overcame a tough Abhinav Belwal from UP with a 4-3 verdict.