Paddlers strike it rich in El Salvador
Indian juniors claimed all but one title at the ITTF El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open Table Tennis Championships.
The Indians had earlier won both the team titles in the cadet section of the event which concluded on Friday night. The only title that eluded the Indians was the cadet boys’ singles crown.
The surprise finalist Arjun Ghosh finished with the silver medal after going down 1-3 (11-8, 13-15, 8-11, 12-14) to Kwan Man Ho from Hong Kong in the final.
Though Ghosh kept himself in the reckoning with his fine returns and excellent defence, his opponent proved a notch better than him. At Guatemala, Birdie Boro had lost the cadet boys final to Cuban Livan Martinez but this time the Indian bowed out to the eventual winner in the semi-finals 7-11, 11-13, 9-11.
In cadet girls’ singles, Moumita Das, a player with no world ranking emerged as the champion. In the final she accounted for Spain’s Zhang Xuan, the No.2 seed, by the very narrowest of margins in a five-game duel (11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-13, 11-9), having at the semi-final stage beaten compatriot and top seed Sagarika Mukherjee in five games (11-6, 9-11, 9-11, 14-12, 11-5). In the earlier round, Moumita ousted compatriot Sreeja Akula, also with no global listing, (9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-7).
India also clinched cadet boys’ doubles and cadet girls’ doubles gold medals. Anirban Ghosh and Arjun Ghosh joined forces to win the title beating colleagues Birdie Boro and Lalrin Puia 10-12, 11-4, 11-2, 9-11, 11-8 and Moumita Dutta and Sagarika Mukherjee did an encore beating the Peruvian duo Valeria Cuba and Andrea Guzman 14-12, 11-8, 12-10.
Anirban, Sreeja on top
Anirban Ghosh and Sreeja Akula won the junior boys and junior girls singles titles, their maiden efforts on the ITTF Junior circuit. Anirban defeated teammate Birdie Boro in the final 12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9.
If Anirban’s win was a bit of surprise for many, the success recorded by Sreeja in the girls’ singles event against No 2 seed Sagarika Mukherjee stunned everyone. She took on Sagarika Mukherjee and won 8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4.