Top seeds and favourites Egypt had to work overtime to beat a spirited India 2-1 in the final to annex the WSF Under-21 World Cup team championship here on Sunday.
The defeat notwithstanding, the Indian team could justifiably feel proud of their performance against Egypt, who in recent times have produced an array of World-class players.
In the first singles, Ravi Dixit fought for all his worth and even took a game off Marwan El Shorbagy, the world junior champion, but ultimately, the Egyptian carried far too much firepower and came through 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7.
The second singles was a cliff-hanger as Dipika Pallikal found herself in a spot after losing the first two games to the talented Nour El Sherbini, before staging a remarkable fight back.
Pallikal, ranked No.14 to the Egyptian's 23, took the crucial fourth game after saving a couple of match balls and then sustained the pressure to clinch the fifth to keep India in the hunt.
The third singles also proved to be as exciting as Karim Abdel Gawad held off a spirited challenge from Ramit Tandon in four games.
Tandon all but made a mockery of the World rankings as he kept pace with the No.42 ranked Gawad and nearly took the match into the fifth game, but squandered an 8-6 lead in the fourth.
Ranked No.334, Tandon put in a plucky performance and surprised the Egyptian with some telling shots and had the Indian won the first game, the story might have been different. Gawad managed to take it and then raced away with the next before encountering and overcoming some stiff resistance from Tandon.
Final: Egypt beat India 2-1 (Marwan El Shorbagy bt Ravi Dixit 11-4, 11-7, 7-11, 11-7; Nour El Sherbini lost to Dipika Pallikal 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 12-14, 5-11 Karim Abdel Gawad bt Ramit Tandon 12-10, 11-4, 6-11, 11-8).
For 3-4 positions - England beat France 2-0 (Charles Sharpes bt Lucas Serme 14-12, 7-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5; Emily Whitlock bt Cyrielle Peltier 11-5, 11-7, 11-7).
For 5-6 positions - Hong Kong beat Australia 2-0 (Yeung Ho Wai bt Jamie McErvale 4-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-5; Tong Tsz-Wing bt Sarah Cardwell 7-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 14-12).
For 7-8 positions - Malaysia beat Germany 2-1 (Affeeq Aeefeen lost to Rudi Rohrmuller 7-11, 3-11, 7-11; Rachael Arnold bt Franziska Hennes 11-13, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5, 11-7; Sanjay Singh bt Valentin Rappa 11-7, 11-3, 11-7).
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