Home News Harmeet earns 2nd national title, Poymantee her first

Harmeet earns 2nd national title, Poymantee her first

Harmeet earns 2nd national title, Poymantee her first

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Top seed Harmeet defeated second seed G. Sathiyan 4-3 to claim his second men’s singles title in the 85th UTT Senior Nationals and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium today.

 

The women’s singles crown went to Poymantee Baisya of the Railways, another new face to claim it with some authority. She defeated Ayhika Mukherjee 4-2.

 

The PSPB paddler, who won his first at the Jammu Nationals last season, stands equal and is tied with Sathiyan. It was the just reward for his perseverance and having held on to the top-ranked Indian in the world.

 

But the win was not easy because at the other end of the table was Sathiyan, looking for his third title. The final witnessed excellent rallies in a fast-paced match and went neck and neck. Harmeet had the upper hand at 7-4 in the decider, but Sathiyan closed on his rival with Harmeet becoming error-prone. But he held his nerves and emerged the champion.

 

The Railways made amends for the lesser medal in the team championships and grabbed four gold in the women’s singles and the three doubles.

 

Harmeet struggled a bit before subduing Manush Shah of RBI in the first semifinal 4-2, but Sathiyan went past Ankur Bhattacharjee of West Bengal in his inimitable style. After leading 2-1, Harmeet dropped the next game only to regain his hold on the match against the left-handed Manush. But Sathiyan was in complete control despite losing the third game to Ankur, and the fourth and fifth games against the Bengal boy bore testimony to his authority.

 

Poymantee Baisya of the Railways emerged as the newest singles champion when she beat Ayhika Mukherjee of the RBI 4-2. Poymantee, who has had a fine run in the championships, cashed in on the opportunities and cleverly deployed her weapons. He played according to the situation and quickly got used to the pace of anti-rubbers that Sreeja and Ayhika used. After knocking off Sreeja, it became easy for Poymantee to tackle her colleague, Ayhika.

 

Defending champion Sreeja Akula went out in the semifinals without a whimper, losing to young Poymantee 2-4 and proving her mettle as a rising star. The resolute Railways paddler inched her way up, unruffled by the reputation of two-time champion, after felling Archana in the earlier round. On the other hand, Sreeja’s confidence and her odd rubber failing. She has had several anxious moments in the championships, but the RBI woman progressed to the semis. However, Poymantee kept putting her under immense pressure, and she ultimately wilted. Ayhika had no such problems, and she beat young Pritha Vartikar in straight games in the second semifinal.

 

Seeds fell like nine pins in the quarterfinals, following some of the best matches in both sections. If Jeet Chandra stretched top-seed Harmeet almost the distance, the best match on view in the morning was between Anirban Ghosh and Ankur. The latter used his usual antics, including the delayed tactics, creating a scene of rucks. The match official hardly did anything to curb him.

 

Yet, none of these can take away the credit to hold against a clam and composed Anirban Ghosh. In the decider, Ankur emerged victorious on his fourth match point. Sharath bowed out without a fight to Manush, and Sathiyan made to look simple against Akash Pal.

 

In contrast, Pritha scaled a new height when she beat Diya Chitale in the first quarterfinals 4-3, the winner taking the last two games. Diya led 3-2, but the under-19 girl from Maharashtra turned the tables against the RBI woman, stroking her way into the semis. Poymantee did the same to second-seed Archana. She was in good form, but the Railways girl picked up steam and speed at the right time and denied her opponent a medal. Ayhika disposed of Suhana Saini in straight games, but top-seeded Sreeja’s struggle continued in the championships. However, the RBI women won 4-1 against Sayali Wani of Maharashtra.

 

The younger crop has proven that they have arrived on the scene through their constant warnings to the so-called favourites. After all, the youngsters have nothing to fear about or hide behind. It augurs well for Indian table tennis.

 

Results:

 

Men’s Singles (Final): Harmeet Desai (PSPB) bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 10-12, 12-10, 14-16, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8.

 

Semifinals: Harmeet bt Manush Shah (RBI) 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-7, 11-2; G. Sathiyan bt Ankur Bhattacharjee (WB) 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-1.

 

Quarterfinals: Harmeet bt Jeet Chandra (AAI) 6-11, 11-5, 11-9, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9; Manush bt A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) 11-9, 11-1, 11-4, 11-5; G. Sathiyan bt Akash Pal (RSPB) 11-9, 11-9, 11-6, 11-3; Ankur bt Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) 9-11, 12-14, 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-4, 18-16.

 

Women’s Singles (Final): Poymantee Baisya (RSPB) bt Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4.

 

Semifinals: Ayhika bt Pritha Vartikar (Mah) 11-7, 11-3, 11-4, 11-8; Poymantee bt Sreeja Akula (RBI) 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-9.

 

Quarterfinals: Pritha bt Diya Chitale (RBI) 3-11, 12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-6; Ayhika bt Suhana Saini (Har) 11-5, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4; Poymantee bt Archana Kamath (PSPB) 9-11, 11-5, 6-11, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9; Sreeja bt Sayali Wani (Mah) 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9, 12-10.

 

Men’s Doubles (Final): Anirban Ghosh/Ravindra Kotiyan (RSPB) bt Ankur Bhattacharya/Sourav Saha (WB) 4-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7.

 

Women’s Doubles (Final): Sutirtha Mukherjee/Poymantee Baisya (RSPB) bt Kaushani Nath/Prapti Sen (WB) 12-10, 11-5, 11-13, 9-11, 11-9.

 

Mixed Doubles (Final): Ronit Bhanja/Sutirtha Mukherjee (RSPB) bt Akash Pal/Poymantee Baisya (RSPB) 11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-5.

 

 

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