Archana shines as Indian teams advance

In the absence of any serious competition from overseas, the Indian girls’ teams produced a couple of ‘surprise’ results in their group matches on the opening day of the ITTF junior circuit India Open here on Saturday.

For India ‘A’, Archana’s victory over Yashini was the only bright spot.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

In the absence of any serious competition from overseas, the Indian girls’ teams produced a couple of ‘surprise’ results in their group matches on the opening day of the ITTF junior circuit India Open here on Saturday.

Though India ‘B’ upstaged India ‘A’, both teams eventually advanced from Group 1 in the junior girls section. In Group 2, India ‘D’ got the better of fancied India ‘C’. Even in cadet girls, India ‘D’ surprisingly blanked India ‘C’ 3-0.

The decision of India ‘A’ to rest in-form Selenadeepthi in the match against India ‘B’ backfired. Some serious embarrassment followed as first-choice Moumita Dutta lost both her singles to Srushti Heleangadi and Yashini Sivasankar. In between, the India ‘B’ duo won the doubles at the expense of Moumita and Archana Kamath. For India ‘A’, Archana’s victory over Yashini was the only bright spot.

Later, in the must-win match against Korea, India ‘A’s Archana came good. She won both her singles and the doubles to take the team to the second spot behind India ‘B’.

Among the boys, Manav Thakkar-led India ‘A’ and India ‘B’ tamed Korea by turns to enter the knockout. With six teams making the quarterfinals, both the leading Indian teams enjoy a bye into the semifinals. Singapore and Thailand could make things difficult for the host teams.