Six paddlers found overage in junior nationals

Ajmer, Dec 28: With six out of eight paddlers turning overage positive, the focus once again returned to the contentious issue at the ONGC Cadet and Sub-Junior National Table Tennis Championships at the MC Chowhan Indoor Stadium here Saturday.

Of the six who were sent out of the championships following the medical jurists’ report, three belonged to West Bengal (Avijit Basu, Ritika Kundu and Koushani Nath) and one each from Assam (Shankar Gautam Barua), Himachal Pradesh (Aryan) and Karnataka (Rohan Jamadagni). Except for one cadet boy, all others were sub-juniors.

In fact, Koushani, seeded seven in sub-junior singles, played a crucial role in helping West Bengal win sub-junior girls’ team crown. According to rules, the team also stands to lose the title, but it has been left to the Table Tennis Federation of India’s (TTFI) executive board, which is meeting in Patna Jan 12.

If the executive board decides to withdraw the title from West Bengal, then Tamil Nadu, who finished runners-up, will be elevated to the top. However, no team will be given the silver medal since there was no bronze medal playoff.

The overage issue may have taken the sheen off the singles events somewhat, but matches in both the cadet boys and girls retained their intensity as pre-quarter finalists were spotted. However, the sub-junior section matches were still on and it will be interesting to note who all move up.

Six from the top half of Cadet Boys were stretched but Andhra’s B. Vishnu, Delhi’s Payas Jain, PSPBA’s Alberto, West Bengal’s Snehasish Paul, PSPBA’s Jeho and North Bengal’s Mainik Das moved into the pre-quarterfinals. From the bottom half, only Subhra Jyoti Paul (North Bengal) and Tamil Nadu’s Kushagra Verma struggled before making the grade.

In Cadet Girls, Tamil Nadu’s V. Vaishnavi passed the test 6-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7 after some tough fight against West Bengal’s Koushiki Dasgupta.

In another four-setter, Neha Kumari of North Bengal defeated Suhana Saini of Haryana 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7. Shereya Ghosh of West Bengal too was stretched by Aditi Sinha of Maharashtra A which the former won 13-11, 12-10, 10-12, 14-12. In the bottom half, West Bengal’s Munmum Kundu, Maharashtra A’s Neeha Gupta and Delhi’s Vanshika Bhargava were taken to the full distance by their opponents.

IANS