Event Section
PSPB retain titles, but RBI women win hearts


New Delhi, July 30: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) retained both the men and women’s team championships in the ongoing RSPB-hosted 45th All India International Table Tennis Championships at the Thyagraj Stadium here today. But, it was the women from Reserve Bank of India who won several hearts, including that of the eventual winners.


PSPB men defeated RSPB 3-0 while PSPB’s women scrapped past RBI 3-2. With today’s triumphs, the PSPB men have claimed the championships for the 14th occasion while their women have completed a dozen titles.


The PSPB’s men, comprising national champion Soumyajit Ghosh, runner-up G. Sathiyan and an equally graceful Harmeet Desai, made it a no-match against hosts Railways as even the most experienced Anirban Nandi was unable to win a game. But it must be said to the credit of two Railways youngsters—Ravindra Kotiyan and Noel Pinto—who managed to extend the likes of both Ghosh and Sathiyan in their singles. In the third game, however, Nandi saved three championship points before Desai shutting him out at 12-10.



PSPB men yet again proved they are a few notches ahead of their rivals in institutional events and all other teams need to travel a long way before they can even think of giving them a scare, let alone winning the crown. The chasm, indeed, is too huge to cover.


However, the PSPB women’s team is somewhat losing its domineering position since, for the first time, it relinquished the top-pedestal place at Chhattisgarh when Delhi women won their first senior national title. PSPB, afraid of trying out a new combination, has been heavily banking on the experienced lot. But today the think-tank almost paid a heavy prize for their over confidence when RBI’s women, appearing in their first final, gave a scare. Thanks to Ankita Das, who was patchy earlier, came good in the decider against a nervy Sweta Parte to help PSPB retain the crown.




Krittwika too good


In her first singles, Ankita lost to Krittwika Sinha Roy in straight games without putting up a semblance of fight. The experienced Mouma Das, despite his visible struggle, overcame Sweta Parte to win her singles 3-2. Mouma, normally a good fighter, was searching for the ball in the second singles while Sweta was making most of the situation. Mouma, however, came to her usual self and outwitted the RBI girl. K. Shamini, playing the third singles, had no difficulty in putting it across Shruti Talnikar very quickly.


With PSPB leading 2-1, one thought it would be a cakewalk. But Krittwika, who was too good, had other thoughts as she forced Mouma on the back foot in reverse singles. In the fourth game, Mouma stretched her RBI rival to the maximum, including saving three match points. But in the end, the RBI’s new recruit had the last laugh when Mouma, failed to return Krittiwika’s serve. They received and returned well against one another, indulged in excellent placing, including sending the ball to the extreme left with scorching forehands.



RBI may have lost the title narrowly, but taking PSPB the full distance should augur well for the team. Additionally, they will now join PSPB as the second team to have qualified for the senior nationals at Hyderabad in January 2016. Another first for RBI!  


Earlier in the day, Dena Bank’s Youth Boys confirmed their maiden team title after completing their league engagements.




MenFinal: PSPB bt RSPB 3-0 (Soumyajit Ghosh bt Ravindra Kotiyan 11-4, 13-11, 11-4, G. Sathiyan bt Noel Pinto 11-7, 13-11, 12-10, Harmeet Desai bt Anirban Nandi 11-5, 11-8, 12-10).


WomenFinal: PSPB bt RBI 3-2 (Ankita Das lost to Krittwika Sinha Roy8-11, 7-11,7-11, Mouma Das bt Sweta Parte 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, K. Shamini bt Shruti Talnikar 11-7, 12-10, 11-5, Mouma Das lost to Krittwika Sinha Roy4-11, 8-11, 12-10, 13-15, Ankita Das bt Sweta Parte 11-8, 11-7, 11-7).