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U-19 Girls claim 1st-team bronze for India at Worlds

U-19 Girls claim 1st-team bronze for India at Worlds

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Vijayawada, November 28: India’s U-19 women’s team, consisting of Yashaswini Ghorpade, Suhana Saini, Sayali Wani, and Taneesha Kotecha, entered the history books as they claimed a bronze medal in the ITTF World Youth Championships 2023 in Slovenia on Tuesday.

 

It was the first-ever team medal for the country in the category at any Worlds. However, Yashaswini and Suhana have a bronze they picked in the last edition of the World Youth in Tunisia.

 

However, the Indian Boys’ squad went down 1-3 to Chinese Taipei in the pre-quarterfinals, and the loss saw them bowing out from the medal reckoning, and the U-15 Girls’ team followed suit, losing 0-3 to South Korea 0-3 in the quarters.

 

The fourth-seeded Indian girls, who got a bye in the pre-quarters, beat Egypt 3-2 to enter the medal round yesterday. It was not an auspicious start for India as Hana Goda, the world No. 30, beat Suhana 11-6, 11-4, 11-4. But the undeterred Indians moved ahead as Yashaswini defeated Farida Badawy (11-7, 14-12, 11-3), and Taneesha accounted for Mariam Younes (11-4, 12-10, 11-6) to bring India back on track.

 

In her reverse singles, Hana won 11-5, 11-9, 11-5, giving no chance to Yashaswini, shifting the burden on Suhana. The Haryana girl faltered in the first game against Farida before wrapping it up 8-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 to assure the team bronze.

 

They know the job would be tough against the top-seeded China. As expected, India lost 0-3, but Sayali Wani got her first chance to place in the Worlds when she took on Chen Yi. The promising youngster from Maharashtra surprised the Chinese rival in a five-game thriller. In the marathon fifth game, Chinese won in her sixth game and match point to put her team in the lead. Xu Yi and Qin Yuxuan scored straight games wins over Yashaswini and Suhana, respectively, to force India to be content with the bronze.

On the other hand, the Men’s U19 team lost 1-3 to Chinese Taipei in the round of 16, and the U15 women’s team lost to South Korea in their quarterfinal.

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