National TT C'Ship: Mouma Das, four other seeds ousted

Five-time winner Mouma Das, Mousumi Paul along with Reeth Rishya, seeded three, four and seven, found the going too tough for their liking and exited from the second round of the National table tennis championship here on Saturday.

Mouma Das in action during the National table tennis Championship.   -  Rohit Jain Paras

Given the competition at the domestic level these days, the seeded players, in singles, can never be sure of taking their allotted places in the quarterfinal.

In keeping with the expectations, reputations took a beating as five-time winner Mouma Das, Mousumi Paul along with Reeth Rishya, seeded three, four and seven, found the going too tough for their liking and exited from the second round of the National table tennis championship here on Saturday.

Even in the men singles, eighth seed Manav Thakkar realised that in spite his impressive run in the age-group competitions, he still has a long way in the senior ranks as he fell at the second hurdle. Seventh seeded local hero Jubin Kumar was the last seed to fall among the men after running into fellow left-hander Devesh Karia in a thriller.

Sharath Kamal, looking for his seventh National title, seemed to be settling down nicely to the conditions here. Returning to the venue that fetched him the first senior National title in December 2003, Sharath did win 4-0 against North Bengal’s Raja Kundu in the opener but looked a bit rusty.

In the second round, T. Nitin conceded the match to Sharath conceding the match after two sets owing to a knee-injury. In the pre-quarterfinal, Sharath produced flashes of brilliance in stopping Sarthak Gandhi, who also trains at Chennai, under former National champion S. Raman.

Though several seeds survived the day, none took a more dramatic route to stay alive in the competition than fifth seed Harmeet Desai. In a match involving two Gujarat players, Desai scripted a spectacular rally after losing the first three sets to win 4-3.

Defending champion A. Amalraj, seeded three, also needed seven sets to prevail over West Bengal’s Sougata Sarkar, the conqueror of former champion Soumyadeep Roy.

Among the ladies, Shreya Ghosh continued her run following the conquest of Mouma. She went on to stop young Swetha Kumaravel 10-12, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-7 to enter the quarterfinals.

Defending champion Manika Batra faced strong resistance from veteran Anindita Chakraborty in posting a 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5. Former champion but unseeded Poulomi Ghatak quietly slipped into the quarterfinal with a 11-4, 11-9, 14-12, 11-9 triumph over North Bengal’s Takeme Sarkar.

Leading results (prefix denotes seeding):

Men (pre-quarterfinal): 1-Sharath Kamal bt Sarthak Gandhi 11-9, 11-9, 11-4, 11-8; Subhajit Saha bt Sourav Saha 11-9, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9; 5-Harmeet Desai bt Jignesh Jaiswal 6-11, 9-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7; 4-Sanil Shetty Ronit Bhanja 11-7, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6. 3-A. Amalraj bt Sougata Sarkar 8-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 11-4, 11-5; 6-Soumyajit Ghosh bt Abhishek Yadav 11-9, 11-4, 14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-6; Devesh Karia bt 7-Jubin Kumar 13-11, 11-6, 8-11, 7-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9; 2-G. Sathiyan bt Raj Mondal 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9; (second round): Sourav Saha bt 8-Manav Thakkar 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 13-15, 11-7, 11-8.

Women: (second round): Sreeja Akula bt 4-Mousumi Paul 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8; Shreya Ghosh bt 3-Mouma Das 15-13, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 7-11, 11-9; Takeme Sarkar bt 7-Reeth Rishya 13-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9;