Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 19 : Manush Shah of Gujarat, making amends for his
loss in the season-opener at Sonepat, overcame the tricky Raegan Albuquerque of
Maharashtra 4-3 to lift the Youth Boys trophy in the UTT National Ranking (South
Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Jimmy George Indoor Stadium here today.
The Junior Boys and Junior Girls finals, Vishwa Deenadayalan of Tamil Nadu and
Anusha Kutumbale of Madhya Pradesh defeated Aadarsh Om Chetri of Delhi (4-2)
and Munmun Kundu of West Bengal (4-1), respectively, to pick their successive
The normally free-flowing left-hander, who lost the final to Manav Thakkar in the
North Zone, was stopped on his tracks for a while when Raegan slowed down the
game, taking pace off the ball. So much so, Manush was not only on the back foot
but found to be making far too many mistakes. This helped the Maharashtra boy
lead 2-1 and then 3-2.
But the hard-hitting Gujarat lad came into his own while pushing Raegan to the
corner with his blistering forehands. Yet, the match saw some fine, long rallies as
the final hung in balance with none yielding. Manush took the crucial sixth game
and from there pursued the same relentless attacking path to win the title in style.
In the semi-finals this morning, Manush beat another Maharashtra rival Mandar
Hardikar without dropping a sweat (4-0) while Raegan got stretched by Haryana’s
Jeet Chandra before he put it across for a hard-earned 4-1 victory.
Anusha hit the top gear right from the word go in the Junior Girls final to claim the
season’s consecutive crown when she defeated Munmun Kundu of West Bengal
4-1. The top-seed MP girl, driving well, faced a momentary hiccup when the West
Bengal paddler won the third game. But that was all she could do as Anusha
sealed her fate rather easily by taking the next two games.
Earlier, Anusha had it easy against Delhi’s Vanshika Bhargava (4-0) in the
semi-finals while Munmun beat Karnataka’s Anargya Manjunath 4-2. The latter
was in the game until the fourth but the West Bengal paddler slammed the door
on her with wins in next two games.
For Vishwa Deenadayalan, too, it was the successive title win as he managed
to pull it off against Aadarsh Om Chetri 4-2. A visibly tired Delhi boy did well to
tackle the Tamil Nadu left-hander, despite the loss of first game to go 2-1 up.
But the tricky Vishwa, with a good service variety in his arsenal posed a lot of
problems which Chetri could not counter, ending up committing more mistakes.
Once he levelled the score, it was all easy for the Tamil Nadu boy who controlled
the match thereon.
In contrast, Vishwa and Aadarsh had to bring in their best in their semi-finals to
thwart Hrishikesh Malhotra of Maharashtra and Jayabrata Bhattacharjee of North
Bengal. Both went down to the wire and had similar trappings as their
opponents managed to win the alternate games, before the eventual winners
wrapping it up in the decider.
TN, Karnataka share TIE spoils:
In the Talent Identification Event (TIE), introduced in zonals for the first time for
players above 13 and under-15 age groups, the contests in both Boys and Girls
sections were limited to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as they proved their
superiority over their rivals from other southern states.
In the Boys final, K.J. Akash of Karnataka scored a come-from-behind victory
to win the Cup when he defeated Tamil Nadu’s Raghuram Prakasham 3-2, while
Kavyashree Baskar of Tamil Nadu downed Shwetha Murittige of Karnatka 3-2 in
the tough Girls final.
The Tamil Nadu boy led 2-1 and 5-3 and looked on way to the title but Akash
played brilliantly when Raghuram was waywary in the fourth game to seize the
opportunity. In the decider, the Karnataka boy was on a roll to wrap it up. It was
a similar kind of situation for Kavyashree who trailed 1-2 before pulling her socks
to defeat Shwetha, taking the last two games.(UNI)