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Table Tennis

Table Tennis Nationals: PSPB men, RBI, Haryana women move to pre-quarters

PSPB men, Haryana and RBI women reigned supreme in the Inter-State Table Tennis championships to move to pre-quarters.

Table Tennis Nationals: PSPB men, RBI, Haryana women move to pre-quarters

Sreeja Akula in action for Dabang Delhi TTC in the Ultimate Table Tennis Season 4. (source: UTT)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 Dec 2023 6:02 AM GMT

The Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) men and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) women registered easy 3-0 wins over respective opponents to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the Senior Nationals and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships here on Saturday.

Anthony Amalraj, Manav Thakkar, and Sanil Shetty put their teams ahead in the group race against Madhya Pradesh in the first round at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium.

Amalraj beat Pankaj Vishwakarma 11-8, 11-5, 11-8, Manav downed Ansh Goyal 11-5, 11-4, 11-4, and Sanil won 11-8, 11-3, 11-5 over Pratham.

Hosts Haryana, spearheaded by Suhana Saini, beat Punjab and Kerala with identical 3-0 margins to secure their top spot in Group F and a berth in the pre-quarterfinals.

Anjali Rohilla started the campaign for them as the defensive player scored an 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 win over Arushi Arora of Punjab, and Riti Shankar followed it up with 11-7, 11-1, 11-5 triumphs and Suhana Saini rounded it off, posting 11-3, 11-9, 11-4 victory over Ekta Sareen.

In their match against Kerala, Suhana struggled past Pranati Nair 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9. Prithoki Chakraborty, playing her first tie, overcame the experienced Mria Rony 8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8.

Maria, who played for Karnataka, returned home to represent Kerala in the Nationals. Riti Shankar downed Cicily Maria Joshi 11-6, 11-8,11-2 to confirm their berth.

Women teams of Telangana, Delhi, Assam, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat looked to occupy the top positions in their respective groups.

As for RBI women, they needed less than 60 minutes to tide over their first-round opponent, Daman & Diu.

Diya Chitale, playing her first match after Vadodara National Ranking, beat Koenaa Jariwala 11-2, 11-2, 11-7 to put the team 1-0 up. Amrutha Pushpak defeated Sanskrati Muley 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, and R. Harshavardhini accounted for Basni Singh 11-3, 11-4, 11-6 to complete the demolition job.

RBI women disposed of Bihar with Sreeja Akula entering the fray, as the team management rested Diya in the second round. Amrutha Pushpak and Harshavardhini continued their job in the second round to keep their slate clean. Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, and West Bengal are the likely group leaders, going by their form and team strengths. The second qualifier from the other groups will be known after the third round on Sunday.

Punjab men surprised Kerala in Group A with a 3-1 victory to strengthen their qualification chance, as they could be the second team to make the grade for the second-stage knockout.

Naman Mehra from Punjab, taking on the experienced Amir Afthab, just managed to win the second game before going down 9-11, 16-14, 6-11, 8-11.

It was a good beginning for Kerala, but K.S. Sreehari lost to Rahul Malik 11-8, 4-11, 5-11, 6-11, giving Punjab the lifeline.

Consolidating on it, Harkunwar Singh beat Udit Bhattacharjee 11-8, 11-9, 11-2, and Rahul Malik, playing the reverse singles, down Amir 11-8, 11-7, 11-8 to inch ahead.

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