Indian paddlers bag 10 gold, 4 silver in SAF C’ship

Shillong, June 19: The Indian paddlers continued their domination in the SAF Junior Table Tennis Championships as they won all the six finals on the concluding today to end the event with an impressive tally of 10 gold and four silver medals here today.
The Indian paddlers had bagged four gold medals in team events at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex indoor hall here yesterday.
In the junior boys section, No. 2 seed Abhishek Yadav defeated No. 1 Sudhanshu Grover 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7, while in the junior girls section Reeth Tennison overcame a tough Mallika Bhandarkar 4-3 (10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 6-11,11-7, 11-13, 11-4) in the best of seven finals.
In Cadet boys’, Utkarsh Gupta won in straight games against Birdie Bora while Karnam Spoorthy emerged triumphant against Sutirtha Mukherjee in a gruelling final.
Southpaw Yadav combined guile with precision to see off Grover despite losing the first and the third games. Grover did show some aggressive play, but Yadav was up to it to take him head on. Once he gained ascendancy in the fourth game winning it 11-4, it was curtains for Grover.
At match point in the decider, Yadav was leading 10-4, but let his opponent some leeway to come back. The latter scored three straight points before Yadav took his timeout to slow him down. It worked and he won his maiden SAF title.
In junior boys’ doubles, Abhishek Yadav and Sudhanshu Grover combined together to beat the Nepalese pair of Mani Lama and Anish Shrestha 3-0 and Reeth and Mallika won the junior girls doubles beating the Sri Lankan duo of Ruvini Sankalpana and Chandima Madushani for a similar verdict.
In the final, Mallika, trailing 6-10, came back to win the first game 12-10, but the next two games went Reeth’s way.
From there, the fortunes fluctuated with both taking a game each to drag it to the decider which the Andhra girl won comfortably in the end for her first international title.
Even Spoorthy was in a somewhat similar situation against Sutirtha in the Cadet final before winning gold with a 3-2 (3-11, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7, 13-11) verdict. (PTI)