All India inter-institutional c'ship: Swetha upsets Archana

Despite Swetha Kumaravel's upset of Archana Kamath, Petroleum won 3-1 over Indian Audit and Accounts Department for a place in the quarterfinals.

Archana Kamath went down to Swetha Kumaravel in a five-game thriller.   -  R. RAGU

Much against the pattern of results on view in all sections, the ladies from Petroleum escaped with a 3-1 victory over Indian Audit and Accounts Department for a place in the quarterfinals of the LPS Bossard All India inter-institutional table tennis championship here on Tuesday.

None expected Petroleum to be on the backfoot at any stage but Swetha Kumaravel had other ideas. She proved stronger against favourite Archana Kamath following an 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 12-10 thriller.

Manika Batra brought Petroleum levelled the scoreline with an expected victory over Pooja Sharma. But soon, Petroleum was worried. Former National champion Poulomi Ghatak was given a tough fight by Sanya Sehgal, who held three match points in the final game. But the gritty Poulomi survived 11-9, 7-11, 11-3, 8-11, 15-13 to put Petroleum ahead.

Manika returned to stop a determined Swetha 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 and complete a hard-earned 3-1 triumph for Petroleum.

Among the men, one-sided matches proved the order of the day. After receiving byes in the pre-quarterfinals, Petroleum, Reserve Bank of India, Railways and Airport Authority of India were expected to reach the semifinals.

Meanwhile, the top-half of the men singles draw raised the prospects of a series of tough matches involving top seeded National champion Sharath Kamal and three former National champions – A. Amalraj, Soumyajit Ghosh and Sanil Shetty  – apart from Harmeet Desai.

Sharath could play Amalraj in the pre-quarterfinals, with the winner taking on either Ghosh or Sarthak Gandhi. The second quarter of the draw could see a clash between Shetty and Raj Mondal. The winner will face either Jignesh Jaiswal or Desai.

That leaves second seed G. Sathiyan
a far easier passage from the bottom half of the draw.

Among the ladies, National champion Madhurika Patkar is drawn to play Archana Kamath in the quarterfinals while Poulomi Ghatak is slated to meet fourth seed Sreeja Akula. The bottom half of the draw has second seed Sutirtha Mukherjee facing the prospect of meeting Takema Sarkar for a semifinal berth. Likewise, third seed Pooja Sahasrabudhe could run into Manika Batra in the last-eight stage.

Top-8 seeds:-

Men: 1. Sharath Kamal, 2. G. Sathiyan, 3. Arjun Ghosh, 4. Harmeet Desai, 5. Raj Mondal, 6. Sougata Sarkar, 7. Jignesh Jaiswal, 8. Soumyajit Ghosh.

Women:  1. Madhurika Patkar, 2. Sutirtha Mukherjee, 3. Pooja Sahasrabudhe, 4. Sreeja Akula, 5. Poulomi Ghatak, 6. Manika Batra, 7. Takema Sarkar, 8. Archana Kamath.