In what turned out to be a major organisational and logistical success, the Haryana Table Tennis Association became the first to stage its state championship in a bio-secure environment at the Delhi Public School complex here.
The five-day championship attracted nearly 400 players from all over the state and went off without any glitches after the event followed the protocols issued by the Union Government and the Sports Authority of India.
Since the National campers took a Diwali-break, the sanitized venue was ready to host the championship. According to the Table Tennis Federation of India Secretary-General M. P. Singh, "This was a major challenge and the smooth conduct of the meet serves as a footprint for other states to follow. We conducted around a 1000 Covid tests in these five days. There were only three positive cases and they were sent back for treatment by following the laid-down protocols." As reported earlier, the TTFI plans to hold the National cadet and sub-junior championships, and later the National championship, at this venue in January-February next year. Indore will host the National youth and junior championship.
All affiliated units of the TTFI are expected to hold their state championships by December 15.
"The biggest takeaway, after the successful hosting of this championship, is that we are no longer uncertain of holding a meet in these challenging times. Haryana’s organisers have shown that it is possible to follow the norms and host a Covid-free event. Now we expect the states to follow Haryana’s example. The TTFI, as always, is willing to help out its affiliated units,” said Mr. Singh.
On each of the five days, expert panel of doctors conducted Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT) and the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test on the players, officials and those accompanying the players inside the school complex.
The state health department graciously came forward to offer these services without a fee. The cost of around 1,000 tests is estimated to be around Rs. four lakh.
Competition in each of the five categories - in both sections - was complete in a day.
Rising talent Suhana Saini was the star of the meet as she won the youth, junior and sub-junior girls’ titles besides being the finalist to the reigning National champion Sutirtha Mukherjee in the women’s title-clash.
As expected, Jeet Chandra won a ‘double’ by claiming the men and youth titles.
Final results: (men): Jeet Chandra bt Sourav Saha 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9; (women): Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Suhana Saini 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9; (youth boys): Jeet Chandra bt Wesley Do Rosario 11-6, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9; (youth girls): Suhana Saini bt Anjali Rohilla 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8; (junior boys): Ashu bt Rishabh Mayank 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 16-14; (junior girls): Suhana Saini bt Poornima Rohilla 11-9, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6; (sub-junior boys): Rishabh Mayank bt Shivansh Adlakha 11-9, 13-11, 11-13, 11-9; (sub-junior girls): Suhana Saini bt Saanvi Dargan 11-6, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6; (cadet boys): Vatsal Duklan bt Jai Rawat 11-8, 11-9, 11-8; (cadet girls): Diva Ahuja bt Manal 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 12-10.