Hyderabad: It was mixed fortunes for Telangana State paddlers in the 11 Even Sports National Ranking (North Zone) Table Tennis Championships that concluded at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium in Panchkula on Tuesday.
Upcoming star SFR Snehit, who had stunned Sharath Kamal in the third round, lost to Manav Thakkar 4-2 in the men’s singles final while Akula Sreeja of MLR Table Tennis Academy became the first player from Telangana to win the Youth girls title in the national ranking tournament when she got the better of Tamil Nadu’s Selenadeepthi Selvakuar 4-2 in the final.
The impressive Snehit put Manav under pressure after the former had leveled it at 2-2. ‘’I was under pressure because he (Snehit) was playing his first final and responding well. It was for me to defend the title,” said Manav, who earlier beat Ronit Bhanja 4-1 to annex the Youth Boys title.
The win was worth Rs. 70,000 in prize money while Snehit, who trains under Raman in Chennai, received exactly half the amount for his efforts. Earlier in the semifinals, Snehit defeated Arjun Ghosh of Bengal 5-2.
Sreeja, who is coached by Somnath Ghosh, played splendidly against Selenadeepthi. After losing the opening game 13-15, Sreeja placed herself in a comfort zone with a 3-1 lead before dropping her second game. But Sreeja, who is employed in RBI, hit a nice rhythm in the face of a stiff resistance from Selena in the sixth game which the former won on extended points.
Men: Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt SFR Snehit (TELG) 11-9, 11-8, 4-11, 7-11, 11-6, 11-4; Semi-finals: SFR Snehit bt Arjun Ghosh (WB) 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8; Manav Thakkar bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 11-4, 13-15, 11-9, 7-11, 11-6, 11-9.
Women: Final: Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-6, 8-11, 14-12;
Youth Boys: Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Ronit Bhanja (WB) 11-7, 11-3, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6.
Youth Girls: Final: Akula Sreeja (RBI) bt Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN) 13-15, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10; Semi-finals: Selenadeepthi Selvakumar bt Shruti Amrute (Mah) 11-7, 11-8, 11-9, 11-7; Akula Sreeja bt Archana Kamath (PSPB) 4-11, 13-11, 13-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6.