Dharamshala, Nov 18: The Sub-Junior boys of Tamil Nadu were the only top-seeded team that survived with sheer consistency to enter the final of the UTT 81st Cadet and Sub-Junior National Table Tennis Championships at the Indoor Stadium here today.
Tamil Nadu defeated Uttar Pradesh 3-1 and they will meet Maharashtra A in the final tomorrow. Maharashtra, from the bottom half of the draw, surprised second-seed West Bengal 3-1 in the second semi-final.
Similarly, top-seeds Karnataka in Sub-Junior Girls were blanked out by Haryana in the quarters, paving the way for the northern state to enter the final along with Tamil Nadu, who knocked out third-seed West Bengal, also with a 3-0 verdict.
In Cadet Girls and Boys, again the top-seeded West Bengal bowed out. Yesterday, the boys were sent packing by Maharashtra A while their girls went down in straight games to Tamil Nadu. As a result, all the four Tamil Nadu teams have entered finals and are poised to benefit the maximum from these nationals. They have already ensured silver medal each for their teams and are just a step away from sweeping the gold medals. In Cadet Girls, Uttar Pradesh powered by Anika Gupta’s deciding rubber victory upset Maharashtra A 3-2 in a marathon that lasted almost one and a half hours.
In Sub-Junior Girls, as expected both Haryana and Tamil Nadu toyed with their opponents, Maharashtra A and West Bengal. Haryana won 3-1 while Tamil Nadu blanked out West Bengal 3-0. In the Cadet Boys semi-finals, North Bengal had to really battle it out against a stubborn Haryana before entering the final, to be played tomorrow, with 3-2 win.
The mach went up to the last rubber in which Sangram Sarkar outplayed Krishiv Nayak of Haryana to clinch it in their favour. Earlier, Siddhant Kataria had given Haryana the much-needed win to level the score 2-2. In fact, he was the one who won both his singles to provide the opportunity which Krishiv could not cash in on.
In comparison, Tamil Nadu had an easy time against PSPBA despite the latter managing to take a rubber when Umesh Kumar of Tamil Nadu lost to Priyanuj Bhattacharyya. (UNI)