IITF: Junior paddlers win medals

New Delhi, Aug 17 : Indian junior paddlers claimed all but one title at the ITTF El Salvador Junior and Cadet Open table tennis championships which concluded on Friday night, according to Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).

The Indians had earlier won both the team titles in the Cadet sections.

Like in Guatemala championships last week, 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 No. 2 seed Kwan Man Ho from Hong Kong in the Cadet Boys final.

Though the unseeded Ghosh kept himself in the reckoning with his fine returns and excellent defence, the Mexican proved a notch better than the Indian.

At Guatemala, Birdie Boro had lost the Cadet Boys final to Cuban Livan Martinez but this time the Indian had 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 Cadet Boys' Doubles title beating colleagues Birdie Boro and Lalrin Puia in the final 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 Ghosh and Sreeja Akula won the Junior Boys and Junior Girls singles titles, their maiden efforts on the ITTF Junior circuit. For Anirban, who had entered quarter-finals last year, it was a quantum jump.

Anirban defeated team mate and No. 8 seed Birdie Boro in the final 12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9 in a see-saw encounter.

Anirban had all ready answers to Boro's guiles and finished the game with a great winner to the right of Boro.

If Anirban Ghosh's win was a bit of surprise for many, the success recorded by Sreeja Akula in the Junior Girls' singles event against a much-known No. 2 seed Sagarika Mukherjee stunned everyone.

After beating for Dominican Republic's Eva Brito, the No.1 seed in the quarter-finals 4-2, then Spain's Zhang Xuan, the No.4 seed in the semi-finals with a similar margin, she took on Sagarika Mukherjee.

And deservingly, Akula posted another six-game win (8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4) against the No. 2 seed and in-form player.

--IBNS (Posted on 17-08-2013)

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