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Group leaders on track despite a delayed start

Kolkata:  A trip-up start is never ideal, especially if it’s the National Championships of any sport. The team events in Under-19 Girls of the 85th edition of the UTT Inter-State Youth and Junior National Table Tennis Championships at the Netaji Indoor Stadium had one such beginning as late as around 3 p.m. today, sending the schedule haywire.

The scheduled start was at 9 a.m., but the arrival of the truck carrying the equipment reached the venue in the afternoon, forcing the competition department to start the team matches as late as 3.30 p.m. According to the organisers, the truckers’ strike caused the delay.

The association of truckers finally called off the strike after the assurance by the central government on the recently legislated hit-and-run law.

After a truncated inauguration and march past by the players from the participating states, the matches moved on smoothly. However, the competition manager had to reschedule the third round in the U-19 team events and Under-17 qualifications, pushing the matches to tomorrow morning.

The championships picked up momentum after a truncated inauguration and march past by players from the participating states. However, the competition manager had to reschedule the third round of the U-19 team events and Under-17 qualifications, pushing the matches to tomorrow morning.

As expected, the leaders in each group had easy outings against their opponents, moving closer to achieving their goal of qualifying, besides finishing ahead of the second qualifier from the group.

For Maharashtra, Sayali Wani, Pritha Vartikar and Taneesha Kotecha did the job against Rajasthan (TTFI 1). Though Sayali and Taneesha won 3-0 against their rivals, Pritha almost went the distance against Sunidhi Dewan, who took a game off the Maharashtra girl, who is playing in the team event for the first time, as a replacement for Jennifer Verghese. She beat Sunidhi 8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-7, after having the measure of Sunidhi.

Haryana began as well as expected when Prithoki Chkrabaorty beat Pelf 14-12, 11-9, 11-6 to give a rousing start. Suhana Saini followed it up with an 11-8, 11-6, 11-9 win over Cherrish Chhabra and Saanvi Dargan completed the job, beating Anjali Sharma 11-7, 11-5, 11-5.

Hosts West Bengal girls gave themselves a fine start when young Syndrela Das beat Kajal Solanki 11-5, 11-7, 11-6. Nandini Saha consolidated their position when she mounted an all-out attack on Maulisha Thanvi and won 11-5, 11-5, 11-5 before Dista Roy routed Divyanjali Negi 11-1, 11-6, 11-5.

Meanwhile, the first round of qualification matches for the Under-17 Girls got underway.

Team Results (Round 1):

Group A: U-19 Girls: Maharashtra bt TTFI 1 (Rajasthan) 3-0; Group B: Haryana bt Chandigarh 3-0, Goa bt Daman & Diu 3-0; Group C: West Bengal bt TTFI 2 (Rajasthan) 3-0, Andhra Pradesh bt Uttarakhand 3-0; Group D: NCOE bt Pondicherry 3-0, Telangana bt Mizoram (w/o) 3-0; Group E: Tamil Nadu bt Chhattisgarh 3-0, Odisha bt Jammu and Kashmir 3-0; Group F: Gujarat bt Jharkhand 3-0, Assam bt Meghalaya 3-0; Group G: Delhi bt Himachal Pradesh 3-0, Kerala bt Punjab 3-0; Group H: Uttar Pradesh bt Arunachal Pradesh 3-0, Karnataka bt Bihar 3-0.

-TTFI

 

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