Arjun Ghosh of India ‘B’ excelled in the singles and followed it up with a win in the doubles encounter to help the hosts beat China 2-1 in the opening round of the team event in the cadet boys category of the India Junior and Cadet Open Table Tennis Championships at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium, Worli yesterday.
Ayush Tayal lost the opening singles to Yuhao Wang 11-8, 6-11, 4-11, 6-11. However, in the second singles, Arjun beat Beizeng Wang 13-11, 14-12, 11-8, leaving the doubles encounter to decide the outcome of the tie.
Arjun then paired up with Ayush to beat the Chinese duo of Yuhao/Beizeng 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-2. The 15-year-old West Bengal paddler said that slowing the pace of the game helped them stun the Chinese side.
“Yesterday, when we saw the Chinese team practice we realised that we couldn’t match their pace. Hence, we decided to break their rhythm,” said Arjun, a Class X student of the Promila Memorial Institute in Kolkata. National coach Sandeep Gupta was surprised by Arjun’s victory. “Chinese players are far better in terms of physical fitness compared to Indian players.
“Their ball control and reach on the table is very good. I was surprised with India ‘B’ winning in the cadet boys category. Both Arjun and Ayush are upcoming players and this win will boost their confidence,” said Gupta.
Later in the evening, India ‘B’ bt India-UAE combine 3-0. Arjun overcame Saif Alfalasi 11-5, 11-2, 11-3 in the first singles, while Ayush Tayal defeated Shaurya Tushar 11-5, 11-9, 11-8. Arjun/Ayush combined to win the doubles against Shaurya/Saif 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.