Chennai: Maharashtra, riding on the strength of Taneesha Kotecha and Sayali Wani, defeated Haryana 3-1 to lift the Youth Girls Under-19 team title trophy and the gold medals in the UTT 84th Inter-State Youth and Junior National Championships at the Nehru Indoor Stadium today.
Haryana had to satisfy with the silver medallion, but their main girl Suhana Saini could have changed the script. However, she failed to cash in on two game points in the fourth game, paving the way for Taneesha to help Maharashtra defend the title stoutly. But their third player, Sayali Wani, bailed out the squad again in the final when she put Maharashtra 2-1 up after Jennifer Varghese lost to Suhana Saini in the first rubber.
Had Suhana made most of the chance in the fourth game of the fourth rubber, experienced Prithoki could have given a better shot at the title with Jennifer low on confidence. Nevertheless, Maharashtra didn’t have to bother as Taneesha shut out Haryana earlier than expected.More than what Taneesha and Jennifer did in their semi-final win against Karnataka, Sayali Wani’s contribution stood out in the outcome of their match. But for her win–she beat Anargaya Manjunath 7-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 13-11–in the crucial third rubber, Maharashtra would have been in some trouble.
The fight between Sayali and Anargaya continued until the decider when the Maharashtra girl showed her gritty side to pull it off on extended points after dropping a couple of match points, much to the relief of her camp.
Earlier, Taneesha opened with a win against Deshna Vanshika, a much-improved player, but Jennifer’s loss to Yashaswini put Maharashtra on the back foot. Taneesha wilted against Yashaswini’s onslaught, shifting the burden on Jennifer. She didn’t disappoint them as she overcame Deshna in the deciding rubber 3-1.
Suhana Saini was back in form when the team needed her the most as Haryana beat West Bengal 3-1 in the second semi-final. After she and Prithoki Chakraborty put their side 2-0 ahead, one thought it would be a cakewalk for Haryana. But Syndrela Das had other ideas, pulling one back against Saanvi Dargan in straight games. But then Suhana made up for Saanvi’s loss and beat Oishiki Joardar 3-1 to put her team in the final
In the Girls U-17 semi-finals, Pritha ended on the losing side after taking a 3-1 lead against state-mate Taneesha Kotecha, who bounced back through an excellent fightback. The sixth game between the two saw, Pritha lose two match points and save three game points. But Taneesha could not be tied down as she won the sixth to level the score and wrap it up in the decider.
Sayanika Maji of Delhi had a firm grip over Risha Mirchandani of Maharashtra as she led 2-1. But a few negative points and the steely nerves of tall Risha helped wipe off her early deficiencies and level the score. But Sayanika raised her game to the next level and won the fifth and sixth games by minimal points to enter the final.
The final will be player later tonight.
Youth Girls (U-19): Final: Maharashtra bt Haryana 3-1 (Jennifer Varghese lost to Suhana Saini 9-11, 2-11, 6-11, Taneesha Kotecha bt Prithoki Chakraborty 11-7, 11-6, 14-12, Sayali Wani bt Kavya Yadav 11-6, 11-3, 11-7, Taneesha Kotecha bt Suhana Saini 7-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-4).
Semi-finals: Maharashtra bt Karnataka 3-2 (Taneesha Kotecha bt Deshna Vanshiki 11-4, 11-8, 13-15, 11-6, Jennifer Varghese lost to Yashaswini Ghorpade 8-11,11-8, 10-12, 1-11, Sayali Wani bt Anargaya Manjunath 7-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 13-11; Taneesha Kotecha lost to Yashaswini Ghorpade 12-14, 3-11, 11-9, 7-11; Jennifer Varghese bt Deshana Vanshika 11-6, 11-6, 6-11, 11-2); Haryana bt West Bengal 3-1 (Suhana Saini bt Nandini Saha 11-5, 11-9, 11-9, Prithoki Chakraborty bt Oishiki Joardar 11-6, 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9, saanvi Dargan lost to Syndrela Das 7-11, 5-11, 9-11; Suhana Saini bt Oishiki Joardar 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8).
Youth Girls (U-17): Final:
Semi-finals: Taneesha Kotecha bt Pritha Vartikar (Mah) 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6, 15-13, 11-9; Sayanika Maji bt Risha Mirchandani (Mah) 11-6, 9-11, 11-3, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9.
Great escape for Haryana; Tamil Nadu bow out