Table tennis: Kavyashree emerges on top, enters the quarters

table tennis symbollic pixChennai: Local girl Kavyashree Baskar kept her slate clean in the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) and entered the quarterfinals at the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University facilities today.

In the difficult Group A, Kavyashree beat Oishiki Joardar 3-1 of Gujarat in the first round, but her 3-0 triumph over Pritha Vartikar of Maharashtra must have been the sweetest one for the tall TN girl.

Pritha, who made a comeback to beat state mate Jennifer Varghese 3-2 in her first round, lost patience and the match after Kavyashree won the extended first game 12-10. After that, the Maharashtra paddler committed far too many mistakes, making life easy for the Kavyashree. However, Pritha keeps her qualification hopes alive and will have to win the third round against Oishiki to qualify as the second player from the group. Jennifer’s journey in the singles ended with two successive losses.

Sayali Wani from Group B, Taneesha Kotecha from Group C, and Suhana Sani from Group D with two wins each in their respective groups, have also sealed their quarterfinal berths.

Sayali beat Sampada Bhiwandkar, also from Maharashtra, and Shabana Batool from Ladakh in the group. But Sampada, who beat Shabana from Ladakh, has a match against Nandini Saha of West Bengal, and it will decide the fate of both tomorrow.

Taneesha Kotecha of Maharashtra beat Diya Bramhachary of Delhi 3-2 and continued with her winning ways against Subhankrita Datta 3-2 to join the qualifiers for the knockout. Taneesha played and won two extended games after losing the first game.

Suhana Saini in Group D won against Risha Mirchandani of Maharashtra 3-2 and then downed Syndrela Das of Bengal 3-2 to make the knockout cut. The Haryana girl should have wrapped it up by the third game when she led 9-6. The game went up to 15-13 in favour of Syndrela, allowing her to claw her way back. However, in the decisive fifth game, Suhana led comfortably at 9-6 and stopped the Bengal girl to win 11-6.

Syndrala had a walkover against Vanshika Deshna of Karnataka as the latter withdrew because of her Board examination.

The first upset happened in the Boys’ group matches when Priyanuj Bhattacharyya of Assam beat Ankur Bhattacharjee of West Bengal. Before the Games began, Ankur started as the favourite to win the singles title. However, his meek surrender in the first-round match in Group A must have surprised both the winner and the loser.

Nevertheless, it does not put Ankur in the dock, and he should be the second qualifier from the group. He can change colours once in the knockout.

Yeshwanth of Karnataka had a lucky passage in the first round after his opponent Bodhisatwa Chaudhury from West Bengal pulled out owing to his Board exam, giving a walkover to the Karnataka boy in Group B. Divyansh Srivastava struggled before beating Tamil Nadu lad Tharun Shanmugam 3-2 in the group.

Another Karnataka paddler, K.J. Aakash, beat his Mizoram rival, H. Lalruatsanga, 3-1, while local boy P.B. Abhinand thrashed Promise Saha of Tripura 3-0. In Group D, Jash Modi overcame Ayan Ghosh of West Bengal 3-2, and Sarth Mishra of UP came from behind to beat M. Balamuragan 3-2. The Tamil Nadu boy led 2-0.

The boys resume their second and third-round battles tomorrow.

2 Maharashtra pair in semis

Meanwhile, two pairs from Maharashtra and one each from Bengal and Haryana entered the semifinals of the Girls' doubles.

Pritha Vartikar and Sayali Wani combined to defeat Niharika and Purva Singh of Haryana 3-0, Syndrela Das and Subhankrita Datta downed Oishiki Joardar and Pratha Pawar of Gujarat 3-0, Suhana Saini and Prithoki Chakraborti beat Saanvy Roy and Saha Nandini 3-0, and Taneesha Kotecha and Risha Mirchandani accounted for Sirya Anand and M. Ananya of Tamil Nadu 3-0.

Results (League Phase):

Girls’ Singles (Round 1 and 2):

Group A: Pritha Vartikar (Mah) bt Jennifer Varghese (Mah) 3-2, Kavyashree Baskar (TN) bt Oishiki Joardar (Guj) 3-1; Kavyashree Baskar (TN) bt Pritha Vartikar (Mah) 3-0, Oishiki Joardar (Guj) bt Jennifer Varghese (Mah) 3-2.

Group B: Sayali Wani (Mah) bt Sampada Bhiwandkar (Mah) 3-0, Nandini Saha (WB) by Pushpa Biswas (Tri) 3-0; Sayali Wani (Mah) bt Nandini Saha (WB) 3-0, Sampada Bhiwandkar (Mah) bt Pushpa Biswas (Trp) 11 w/o.

Group C: Taneesha Kotecha (Mah) bt Diya Bramhachary (Del) 3-2, Subhankrita Datta (WB) bt Shabana Batool (Lkd) 3-0; Diya Bramhachary (Del) bt Shabana Batool (Lkd) 3-0, Taneesha Kotecha (Mah) bt Subhankrita Datta (WB) 3-2.

Group D: Suhana Saini (Har) bt Risha Mirchandani (Mah) 3-2, Syndrela Das (WB) bt Vanshika Deshna (Kar) 11 w/o; Risha Mirchandani (Mah) bt Vanshika Deshna (Kar) 11 w/o, Suhana Saini (Har) bt Syndrela Das (WB) 3-2.

Boys’ Singles (Round 1):

Group A: Priyanuj Bhattacharyya (Asm) bt Ankur Bhattacharjee (WB) 3-0.

Group B: P. Yeshwanth (Kar) bt Bodhisatwa Chaudhury (WB) 11 w/o, Divyansh Srivastava (UP) bt Tharun Shanmugam (TN) 3-2.

Group C: KJ Aakash (Kar) bt H. Lalruatsanga (Miz) 3-1, P.B. Abhinand (TN) bt Promise Saha (Trp) 3-0.

Group D: Jash Modi (Mah) bt Ayan Ghosh (WB) 3-2; Sarth Mishra (UP) bt M. Balamurugan 3-2.