Siliguri, Oct 29: PSPB’s Manav Thakkar and Andhra Pradesh’s Naina were crowned the sub-junior boys’ and girls’ champions, respectively, at the National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Municipal Stadium here Tuesday.
Top seed Thakkar beat his West Bengal rival Ronit Bhanja 4-1 while No.3 seed Naina upset No.1 Moumita Dutta, also from West Bengal, 4-3 to see that no paddler from the zone claimed the two titles. The lone exception was Udit Bhattacharya of West Bengal, who beat his challenger Rohan Ghosh, also from West Bengal, to win the cadet boys’ crown. However, the cadet girls’ title went to Goa’s Tainish Kirtani.
Thakkar was a slow starter in the final but once he had the measure of his opponent, he surged ahead quickly. Bhanja won the first game but Thakkar had his own plans as he finished the match in less than 25 minutes.
Naina kept her chances alive when she won the crucial sixth game to make it 3-all. In the decider, Naina was leading 8-4 but allowed the Bengal girl to take the lead 10-9. The Andhra girl clinched the two crucial points on her serve and when Moumita served, Naina made a deep return. But the Bengal girl’s push just touched the net cord for the ball to fly out.
In cadet girls’ final, Tainish played percentage game to win the crown. The 10-year-old Goan showed maturity beyond her age to beat her north Bengal rival Neha Kumari 4-3.
After a comfortable lead, Kirtani trailed 2-3 before pulling up her socks to outwit Neha in the last two games. In the cadet boys’ final, Udit defeated statemate Rohan 4-0 to win the crown.
Sub-junior boys: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Ronit Bhanja (WB) 4-1 (6-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6).
Sub-junior girls: Naina (AP) bt Moumita Dutta (WB) 4-3 (11-8, 10-12, 11-8, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10).
Cadet boys: Udit Bhattacharya (WB) bt Rohan Ghosh (WB) 4-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-7,11-7).
Cadet girls: Tanishi Kirtani (Goa) bt Neha Kumari (NB) 4-3 (11-3, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7).