World Youth Table Tennis C'Ships: Suhana Saini and Payas Jain assure India of two more medals
Contesting absolute thrillers in their individual quarter-finals, young paddlers Suhana Saini and Payas Jain confirmed bronze medals and booked semifinal spots.
Indian youth table tennis stars Suhana Saini and Payas Jain kept the medal shower going as they won their individual quarter-final encounters to secure the semi-final berth and assure India of two more bronze medals. Earlier, the U-15 girls' team, led by Saini once more, had already kick-started this medal party by winning the bronze there as well.
The World No. 3 in U-15, Suhana Saini played out a tough match against World No. 6 U-15 star from Romania, Bianca Mei Rosu that went down to the wire, before Suhana won 3-4 (11-8, 5-11, 5-11, 8-11, 11-8, 12-10, 7-11) and stormed into the semi-finals. Her semi-final opponent is, however, a tough one - Egypt's Hana Goda, who is the World No. 1 in U-15 currently. At 13, Hana Goda is a force to reckon with and she is already a threat at the senior level. Suhana needs to be very careful against this rising Egyptian paddler.
On the other hand, the World No. 4 in U-19, Payas Jain played a clinical match against Iran's Navid Shams of Iran in the quarter-finals of the U-19 Boys' Singles. Jain dominated pretty comprehensively and only dropped one game en route to the victory. Sailing into the semis, 4-1 (9-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, 4-11), Jain also has a tough challenge on his plate in the form of Peng Xiang of China, who has been in a brilliant form so far. Jain will also need to keep his guard up against the formidable Chinese player who even defeated Kay Stumper and Truls Moregard, the top 2 seeds in U-19 in recent history.
While the semi-finals can prove to be tricky for both Suhana and Payas, the bronze medals are confirmed for them - which is enough to indicate the growth of Indian table tennis - both at the junior and senior levels, it's a pleasant future ahead surely!