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TT: Sathiyan seeded No. 1 in Youth Boys

Posted on Feb 08, 07:07PM | IBNS

Indore, Feb 8 : Gnasekaran Sathiyan of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) and Krittiwicka Sinha Roy of West Bengal have been given the top billing in the singles events of the Youth Boys and Youth Girls sections at the 74th Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships at the Abhay Prashal Indoor Stadium here on Friday.

Sathiyan, last year's runner-up in his section, has managed to keep his ranking intact while in the girls' category Krittiwicka, who has been seeded No. 1 for the first time, has got a real shot in the arm.

In a way, it also proves her consistency this season where she earned the maximum ranking points to go up the ladder.

Unfortunately, PSPB's Ankita Das and Manika Batra, have had a patchy season which reflects in their seeding here.

Olympian Ankita Das has been seeded No. 2, followed by Manika who is at No. 4.

Both the paddlers have not had good outings at the team events here earlier, but things, could reverse when it comes to playing the singles events.

But among the Youth Girls, Suthirtha Mukherjee has had the best of season has been seeded No. 3 in the singles event.

Suthirtha is the third PSPB players in top eight with the last place going to Reeth Rishya.

She too has been on the circuit for a long period but is yet to break into the top four.

Suthirha, a new entrant to the circuit, has made bigger strides.

Nikhat Banu, who turns out for Andhra Pradesh, has been around for quite some time and showed glimpses of great improvement during the team events. Hence it is not surprising to see her being seeded No. 6.

Coming back to Sathiyan, he should consider himself lucky to have been seeded No. 1 because of the absence of both senior national champion Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai.

The duo is currently in Sweden and are preparing for the Commonwealth Championships to be held in New Delhi this May.

No doubt, Nitin Thiruvengadam, the promising paddler from Tamil Nadu, too has gained because of the two top players missing from the

Nitin is seeded at No. 3 while Delhi's Utkarsh Gupta, who played brilliantly in the team events on Thursday, breaks into the top
eight slots.

Another Tamil Nadu boy, Sameera Kumar, has been seeded No. 4 and it is to be seen if he can cash in on this opportunity.

Meanwhile, 40 in Youth Boys section and 32 in Youth Girls category have qualified for the singles main draw events which will begin from Saturday.

They will be joined by the top eight players, who are seeded directly, in their sections.

When the real action starts on Saturday, it will present a clear picture of how players are shaping up for the Commonwealth Championships.

The selection committee members would be watching their performance before picking the squad for the New Delhi event.

Top eight seeds:

Youth Boys: G. Sathiyan (PSPB), Sourav Saha (PSPB), Nithin Thiruvengadam (TN), Sameera Kumar (TN), Sudhanshu Grover (PSPBA), Abhishek Yadav PSPBA), Utkarsh Gupta (Del), Raj Mondal (N.Bengal).

Youth Girls: Krittiwicka Sinha Roy (WB), Ankita Das (PSPB), Suthirtha Mukherjee (PSPB), Manika Batra (PSPB), Ayhika Mukherjee (WB), Nikhat Banu (AP), Mallika Bhandarkar (Mah), Reeth Rishya (PSPB).