Asian Junior TT: Indian boys off to a winning start

July 20th, 2011 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) India defeated Thailand 3-0 in the under-18 boys category while the under-15 team got the better of fancied Japan 3-1 in the group stages of the Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships that got underway at the Thyagaraj Stadium here Wednesday.

The junior boys (u-18), seeded third, were expected to win comfortably against their lower-ranked opponents but the second singles between Harmeet Desai and Tanapol Santiwattanatarm went down the wire.

Harmeet’s experience prevailed in the end as he rallied to win 5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8. India’s highest-ranked player in the tournament Soumyajit Ghosh and Sourav Saha won their singles in straight games.

“The match was not as easy as the score suggests but we are happy to start on a winning not. We have got a very tough match coming tomorrow,” said Harmeet on their next match against Hong Kong Thursday. India had won the bronze in the last edition in Bangkok.

However, it was the cadet boys (u-15) who stole the show on the opening day by beating the number one team in their group. Team captain Abhishek Yadav lost the first singles to Japanese Masato Kakitsuka 11-9, 5-11, 15-17, 7-11 but lifted his game in the reverse singles against Tonin Ryuzaki to seal the issue for India. He won 13-11, 11-6, 12-10.

The Indian girls in the junior and cadet categories also won their opening round matches against Kazakhstan and Qatar.

China and Japan will start their campaign from the knock-out stage in the junior boys and girls categories. Two teams each from three groups qualify for the next stage in the cadet event.

Junior boys (India beat Thailand 3-0): Soumyajit Ghosh beat Peerapol Kunprasert 11-8, 11-8, 11-6; Harmeet Desai beat Tanapol Santiwattanatarm 5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8; Sourav Saha beat Rachlak Chanpongsang 11-4, 11-6, 11-1.

Junior girls (India beat Kazakhstan 3-1): Manika Batra beat Yuliya Gats 11-7, 3-11, 11-5, 11-8; Mallika Bhandarkar lost to Anastasiya Lavrova 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11; Reeth Tennison beat Gulnoza Ermatova 11-4, 12-14, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9; Mallika Bhandarkar beat Yuliya Gats 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 10-12, 11-9.

Cadet boys (India beat Japan 3-1): Abhishek Yadav lost to Masato Kakitsuka 11-9, 5-11, 15-17, 7-11; Utkarsh Gupta beat Tonin Ryuzaki 12-10, 13-11, 11-9; Abhishehk/Utkarsh beat Kakitsuka/Tomo Miyazaki 11-7, 11-6, 9-11, 11-1; Abhisheek beat Ryuzaki 13-11, 11-6, 12-10.

Cadet girls (India beat Qatar 3-0): Anuska Dutta beat Kholoud Hussain 11-2, 11-6, 11-4; Spoorthy Karnam beat Fatma Al-Kuwari 11-2, 11-2, 11-2; Anuska/Spoorthy beat Hussain/ Hissa Al-Hamad 11-4, 11-5, 11-5.

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