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Home Slider Pritha, Syndrela are U-19 and U-17  champions

Pritha, Syndrela are U-19 and U-17  champions

Kolkata, January 9: Maintaining her flow and form, Pritha Vartikar emerged as the winner in the singles of the Under-19 Girls event of the 85th edition of the UTT Inter-State Youth and Junior National Table Tennis Championships at the Netaji Indoor Stadium today, marking the end of the Girls’ leg.

Pritha defeated state mate Taneesha Kotecha 4-2 in a final, which had the best two paddlers after the second-seeded Suhana Saini bowed out in earlier rounds. Incidentally, Taneesha knocked her out in a tight quarterfinal.

After the initial hiccups, Pritha gained momentum to lead 3-1. From that unassailable position, the final was going only one way. Yet, Taneesha managed to pull back a game, winning the fifth. However, Pritha’s grip on the trophy was so tight that she quickly finished it off in the sixth game to be the Youth National champion.

Lakshita Narang, who missed her chance in the team event, had another opening to even out with Pritha in the singles. However, the Delhi girl wasted the rousing start and was down 1-3 as the Maharashtra girl gained control in their semifinal. Lakshita fought back to win the fifth game, but beyond that, she had little role to play as Pritha wrapped up the match.

Taneesha overcame the first-game deficit to go 3-1 up against Sayali Wani in the second all-Maharashtra semifinal. Sayali failed to arrest the unforced errors she committed with greater consistency, allowing Taneesha to rule the table. Though Sayali won the fifth game, the damage was severe enough to repair. In the end, Taneesha ensured she had a showdown with another teammate, Pritha.

Syndrela’s dream season

Season 2023 belonged to Syndrela Das. The 14-year-old girl, who could emerge as the next-best player from West Bengal, has shown greater consistency throughout. It was no wonder she got crowned as the Under-17 Girls champion here.

Syndrela failed to go past the pre-quarterfinals in the previous edition at Chennai, and Kavya Bhatt, her rival from Maharashtra in the final today, reached the quarterfinals. The difference ended there. However, Kavya, the promising player, lacked the vision of Syndrela, a tricky customer to deal with. Even as the West Bengal paddler showed solidity across higher sections, the graph of Kavya went down.

The win Syndrela notched up today stamped her authority again. It could have been a straight game win for her. But Kavya pulled back in the second game after the deuce to win 13-11. Undeterred, Syndrela inched her way up the ladder and led 3-1. A slackened grip in between in the match helped Kavya claim her second game. But Syndrela cannot afford to be complacent, and she quickly realised her fifth-game folly before winning the sixth with minimal points and walking to the top of the podium.

The semi-finals failed to arouse interest as Kavya and Syndrela outwitted their rivals, Sayanika Maji and Riana Bhoota, respectively, with an identical 3-0 win.

Kavya went with the flow of the game against chopper Sayanika. Her defensive play posed problems, but Kavya countered well to overcome whatever deficiencies she may have had as an attacking player. The promising left-handed Riana found the going rather difficult against a well-oiled Syndrela, who had answers to all the right questions Riana asked.

Haryana, Maharashtra win gold

After their team silver, Haryana earned a gold in the Under-19 Girls Doubles. The combo of Suhana Saini and Prithoki Chakraborti had the upper hand right from the start despite the 12-10 win in the first game. The duo went 2-0 up and even led 6-4 in the third before Syndrela Das and Nandini Saha pulled one back. However, the Bengal pair could not deny the Haryana duo the gold medal as the latter wrapped it up 12-10 in the fourth game, as it had begun in the first game.

Jennifer Verghese, who had a moderate season, needs to up her game level and concentrate. She was not a part of the Maharashtra squad, as she wanted to focus on her singles. But she miserably failed in her mission and somehow made up for the losses in the Under-17 doubles. Jennifer combined with Divyanshi Bhowmick and defeated Avisha Karmakar and Vanshika Mudgal of Delhi 3-0 to end with a medal from the Nationals.


U-19 Girls Singles Finals: Pritha Vartikar (Mah) bt Taneesha Kotecha (Mah) 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6.

Semifinals: Pritha bt Lakshsita Naranag (Del) 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 11-6; Taneesha bt Sayali Wani (Mah) 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 13-11.

DoublesFinal: Suhani Saini/Prithoki Chakraborti (Har) bt Syndrela Das/Nandini Saha (WB) 12-10, 11-3, 9-11, 12-10.

U-17 Girls Singles Finals: Syndrela Das (WB) bt Kavya Bhatt (Mah) 11-6, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9.

Semifinals: Kavya bt Sayanika Maji (Del) 11-9, 11-9, 11-4; Syndrela bt Riana Bhoota (Mah) 11-8, 11-7, 11-8.

DoublesFinal: Divyanshi Bhowmick/Jennifer Verghese (Mah) bt Avisha Karmakar/Vanshika Mudgal (Del) 11-5, 11-9, 11-3.





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