Thiruvananthapuram: Manush Shah of Gujarat, making amends for his loss in the season-opener at Sonepat, overcame the tricky Raegan Albuquerque of Maharashtra 4-3 to lift the Youth Boys trophy in the UTT National Ranking (South Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Jimmy George Indoor Stadium here today.
The Junior Boys and Junior Girls finals, Vishwa Deenadayalan of Tamil Nadu and Anusha Kutumbale of Madhya Pradesh defeated Aadarsh Om Chetri of Delhi (4-2) and Munmun Kundu of West Bengal (4-1), respectively, to pick their successive trophies.
The normally free-flowing left-hander, who lost the final to Manav Thakkar in the North Zone, was stopped on his tracks for a while when Raegan slowed down the game, taking pace off the ball. So much so, Manush was not only on the back foot but found to be making far too many mistakes. This helped the Maharashtra boy lead 2-1 and then 3-2.
But the hard-hitting Gujarat lad came into his own while pushing Raegan to the corner with his blistering forehands. Yet, the match saw some fine, long rallies as the final hung in balance with none yielding. Manush took the crucial sixth game and from there pursued the same relentless attacking path to win the title in style.
In the semi-finals this morning, Manush beat another Maharashtra rival Mandar Hardikar without dropping a sweat (4-0) while Raegan got stretched by Haryana’s Jeet Chandra before he put it across for a hard-earned 4-1 victory.
Anusha hit the top gear right from the word go in the Junior Girls final to claim the season’s consecutive crown when she defeated Munmun Kundu of West Bengal 4-1. The top-seed MP girl, driving well, faced a momentary hiccup when the West Bengal paddler won the third game. But that was all she could do as Anusha sealed her fate rather easily by taking the next two games.
Earlier, Anusha had it easy against Delhi’s Vanshika Bhargava (4-0) in the semi-finals while Munmun beat Karnataka’s Anargya Manjunath4-2. The latter was in the game until the fourth but the West Bengal paddler slammed the door on her with wins in next two games.
For Vishwa Deenadayalan, too, it was the successive title win as he managed to pull it off against Aadarsh Om Chetri 4-2. A visibly tired Delhi boy did well to tackle the Tamil Nadu left-hander, despite the loss of first game to go 2-1 up.
But the tricky Vishwa, with a good service variety in his arsenal posed a lot of problems which Chetri could not counter, ending up committing more mistakes. Once he levelled the score, it was all easy for the Tamil Nadu boy who controlled the match thereon.
In contrast, Vishwa and Aadarsh had to bring in their best in their semi-finals to thwart Hrishikesh Malhotra of Maharashtra and Jayabrata Bhattacharjee of North Bengal. Both the semis went down to the wire and had similar trappings as their opponents managed to win the alternate games, before the eventual winners wrapping it up in the decider.
TN, Karnataka share TIE spoils
In the Talent Identification Event (TIE), introduced in zonals for the first time for players above 13 and under-15 age groups, the contests in both Boys and Girls sections were limited to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as they proved their superiority over their rivals from other southern states.
In the Boys final, K.J. Akash of Karnataka scored a come-from-behind victory to win the Cup when he defeated Tamil Nadu’s Raghuram Prakasham 3-2, while Kavyashree Baskar of Tamil Nadu downed Shwetha Murittige of Karnatka 3-2 in the tough Girls final.
The Tamil Nadu boy led 2-1 and 5-3 and looked on way to the title but Akash played brilliantly when Raghuram was waywary in the fourth game to seize the opportunity. In the decider, the Karnataka boy was on a roll to wrap it up. It was a similar kind of situation for Kavyashree who trailed 1-2 before pulling her socks to defeat Shwetha, taking the last two games.
Junior Boys: Final: Vishwa Deenadayalan (TN) bt Aadarsh Om Chetri (Del) 11-6, 6-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6; Semi-finals: Vishwa Deenadayalan bt Hrishikesh Malhotra (Mah) 11-4, 5-11, 11-6, 7-11, 6-11, 11-4, 11-5; Aadarsh Om Chetri bt Jayabrata Bhattacharjee (NB) 8-11, 11-6, 12-10, 4-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4.
Junior Girls: Final: Anusha Kutumbale (MP) bt Munmun Kundu (WB) 11-6, 11-5, 4-11, 11-8, 11-6; Semi-finals: Anusha Kutumbale bt Vanshika Bhargava (Del) 11-5, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3; Munmun Kundu bt Anargya Manjunath (Kar) 4-11, 12-10, 11-1, 9-11, 11-7, 11-6.
Youth Boys: Final: Manush Shah (Guj) bt Raegan Albuquerque (Mah) 7-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4; Semi-finals: Manush Shah bt Mandar Hardikar (Mah) 11-7, 11-,9, 11-3, 11-5; Raegan Albuquerque bt Jeet Chndra (Har) 11-9, 5-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-7.
TIE Boys Final: K.J. Akash (Kar) bt Raghuram Prakasam (TN) 11-9, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-2; Semi-finals: K.J. Akash bt Tharun Shanmugam (TN) 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8; Raghuram Prakasam bt Srikanth Kashyap (Kar) 11-2, 11-9, 11-9.
Girls Final: Kavyashree Baskar (TN) bt Shewetha Murittige (Kar) 11-7, 2-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5; Semi-finals: Kavyashree Baskar bt SahanMurthy (Kar) 11-5, 11-3, 11-2; Shewetha Murittige bt Ekantika Sathish (TN) 11-6, 14-12, 9-11, 11-5.