Event Section
Manika wins maiden Youth national crown


Guwahati, January 20: PSPB’s Manika Batra and G. Sathiyan regained the Youth Girls and Youth Boys singles crown and the Junior Boys and Girls titles went to Abhishek Yadav and Oishwarya Deb of North Bengal as the 75th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis championships came to a close here at Deshbakt Tarun Ram Phukan Indoor Stadium on Monday.


No. 4 seed Manika defeated No. 2 Krittwika Sinha Roy of West Bengal4-1 for her maiden crown while the unseeded Sathiyan downed giant killer K.R, Rohit of Tamil Nadu 4-0 in what turned out to be one-sided Youth finals. However, Oishwarya Deb beat both formbook and favourite Sagarika Mukherjee, also for a 4-0 score-line, in the Junior Girls to annex her maiden title. Abhishek Yadav made amends for his Youth Boys title loss to claim the Junior Boys crown, blanking out West Bengal’s Arjun Ghosh.


All the winners also pocketed a fat sum each from the total prize purse of Rs. 4.76 lakh, while the top eight finishers in all sections were also suitably rewarded with prize money.


Unfortunately, none of the finals had the adrenalin flowing but what was interesting was former national champions Sathiyan and Manika Batra played as they were expected to raise the standards when it mattered the most and also earn full points. However, North Bengal’s Oishwarya Deb came of age to emerge out of the shadow of more pronounced West Bengal rivals. Abhisheh, on the other hand, had to settle for one of the two titles he had won last year.


Sathiyan, who had to play from the qualifiers, had to prove a point or two and he precisely did that beating Rohit who was the unexpected dark horse in the championships. The Tamil Nadu boy, in fact, did himself and the state proud by reaching the final with odds heavily against him. In the final, however, he could not match the guile of an experienced Sathiyan who surprised Rohit with his variation in serves and executing his backhands. On the other hand, Rohit was unable to find his footing right from the beginning which took a toll of the final.


Manika was in good form throughout the nationals and it was no surprising that she was able to beat Krittwika, despite the latter’s form. Pressing hard right from the start, Manika kept a tight leash on her opponent and employing her forehand winners cleverly. But Krittwika fell into her rival’s trap and could not get out of the mire she got into.


Titles for Yadav, Deb


The left-handed Abhishek simply went on a rampage against West Bengal’s Arjun Ghosh without giving him any scope for a comeback. Arjun, who combined with Anirban, to finish runners-up in two doubles evnets, was devoid of imagination and stamina which took a heavy toll on him in the Junior Boys final.


As Oishwarya, she proved a point to her West Bengal rival and No. 1 India player Sagarika Mukherjee that when it came to the final, she was no pushover. Indeed, Sagarika realized it too late in the day as the North Bengal girl ran through her opponent to lift the main cup.




Youth Boys (Singles): Final: G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt K.R, Rohit (TN) 4-0 (11-7, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8); Semifinals: G. Sathiyan bt Abhishek Yadav 4-2 (13-11, 11-1, 8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2), K.R. Rohit bt Sushmit Sriram 4-3 (11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-6).


Doubles: Final: G.Sathiyan/Sourav Saha (PSPB) bt Arjun Ghosh/Anirban Ghosh (WB) 3-1 (12-10, 14-12, 7-11, 11-4).


Youth Girls (Singles): Final: Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) 4-1 (11-2, 11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4); Semifinals: Krittiwika Sinha Roy bt Nikhat Banu (AP) 4-1 (11-6, 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9), MAanika Batra bt Suthirtha Mukherjee 4-3 (11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 12-10).


Doubles: Final: Krittwika Sinha Roy/Ayhika Mukherjee (WB) bt Oishwarya Deb/Sagarika Mukherjee (NB) 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-6).


Junior Boys (Singles): Final: Abhishek Yadav (PSPB) bt Arjun Ghosh (WB) 4-0 (12-10, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8); Semifinals: Arjun Ghosh (WB) bt Sabhya Virmani (Del) 4-1 (11-8, 13-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4), Abhishek Yadav (PSPB) bt Utkarsh Gupa (Del) 4-1 (11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-3).


Doubles: Final: Lalrinpuia/Lalhunlua (PSPBA) bt Arjun Ghosh/Anirban Ghosh (WB) 3-1 (5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-5).


Junior Girls (Singles): Final: Oishwarya Deb (NB) bt Sagarika Mukherjee (WB) 4-0 (11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9); Semifinals: Sagarika Mukherje (NB) bt Ayhika Mukherjee (WB) 4-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-4, 11-9), Oishwarya Deb (NB) bt Amrutha Pushpak (TN) 3-1 (11-9, 11-2, 12-10, 13-11).


Doubles: Final: Priyadarshini Das/Sumana Saha (WB) bt Sagarika Mukherjee/Oishwarya Deb (NB) 3-1 (11-9, 111, 11-8, 118).