81st UTT Junior, Youth Nationals
Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 6: Vishwa Deenadayalan of Tamil Nadu, favourite to win the Junior boys singles title, has been given the top billing, while it is Madhya Pradesh’s Anusha Kutumbale, who has been accorded the privilege in Junior Girls in the 81st UTT Junior and Youth Nationals at the Indoor Hall of the MA Stadium here today.
But there are as many as three Delhi players-Yashansh Malik (No-4), Sjreyaans Goel (No-6) and Payas Jain (No-7)-among the top eight seeds, following the open seeding draw taken out here. The other seeds include H. Jeho (No-2), Preyesh Raj Suresh (No-3), Jayabrata Bhattacharjee (Bengal) and Chinmaya Somaiya (Maharashtra).
As for the Junior Girls, Anusha is followed by Yashaswini Ghorpade (Karnataka), Poymantee Baisya (Bengal), Vanshika Bhargava (Delhi), Munmun Kundu (Bengal), Swastika Ghosh (Maharashtra), Lakshita Narang (Delhi) and Anargaya Manjunath (Karnataka).
The qualification events in both sections saw almost all top players have made it to the main draw while a few failed to make a mark for themselves. For instance, Karnataka’s Samayak Kashyap dislodged group 15 topper Aadil Anand from Maharashtra 11-9, 13-11, 11-6 to grab the qualification spot. In group 26, Aditya Jain of Delhi outshone Sainath Reddy of Telangana 7-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-7, while Karan Pal Singh Jadeja of Gujarat earned a place in the second stage of the draw after battling it out against group 27 leader from Bengal B, Arijit Dey with a 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4. Abhilash Rawal, also of Gujarat from group 30, defeated Tamil Nadu’s 1-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 to book his berth.
All these players that have qualified from 56 groups join the top eight seeds in the round of 64 to be played tomorrow morning. But none of the eight seeds will enjoy any first-round byes.
Similarly, 48 qualifiers from Junior Girls will join the eight seeded players, who all have first-round bye, before beginning their campaign for a finish on the podium.
But group 1 qualifier Diya Chitale could be a force to reckon with as the girl from Maharashtra can on her day beat the best in the business. She was, in fact, instrumental in helping her sate retain the Junior Girls team championships yesterday. Hence all the seeded players, including top-seed Anusha Kutumbale, will be wary of her calibre.
In Junior Girls, except for the top group leaders, who sailed into the main draw, there were a few topsy-turvy results in later groups of the qualification events.
The Youth Boys and Youth Girls will also finish their group qualifications matches tonight before starting afresh tomorrow for the four rounds of main draw events.