Manav Thakkar clinched his second double crown in as many weeks by winning the youth boys’ and men’s titles in the 11Sports Central Zone National-ranking table tennis tournament here on Sunday.
The bespectacled boy from Surat justified his top billing by making short work of southpaw Manush Shah and Haryana’s Jeet Chandra in the youth and men’s finals respectively, to repeat his feat of twin titles in the season-opening North Zone ranking tournament at Panchkula last week.
So fluent was Thakkar in his strokeplay that neither of his opponents in the final had no chance.
The toughest challenged posed to Thakkar on the day was by fourth seed Raj Mondal in the men’s semifinal. Mondal matched Thakkar in counter rallies and in fact had an edge while leading 6-2 in the fifth game when both the players were tied 2-2.
However, Thakkar bounced his way back by forcing Mondal into errors at crucial junctures to ensure a clean slate before leaving for the overseas challenges in Korea and Australia.
Seasoned Pooja Sahasrabudhe overcame the challenge posed by two promising girls — Diya Chitale and Archana Kamath — to pocket her first title of the season.
After stopping 15-year-old Chitale’s march in the semifinals with her powerful backhand winners, Saharabudhe avenged her quarterfinal loss at Panchkula to Archana with the latter committing too many unforced errors.
In an absorbing all-Tamil Nadu final in the youth girls’ category, Selnadeepthi Selvakumar warded Yashini Sivashankar’s challenge in six closely-contested games.
Men: Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Jeet Chandra (Har) 11-6, 11-3, 11-5, 11-5; Semifinals: Manav bt Raj Mondal (RBI) 16-14, 11-6, 12-10, 6-11, 11-8; Jeet bt Manush Shah (Guj) 9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-8.
Women: Final: Pooja Sahasrabudhe (PSPB) bt Archana Kamath (PSPB) 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8; Semifinals: Archana bt Surbhi Patwari (WB) 13-15, 11-8, 12-10, 12-10, 11-5; Pooja bt Diya Chitale (Mah) 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.
Youth girls: Final: Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN) bt Yashini Sivashankar (TN) 11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-9; Semifinals: Selenadeepthi bt Naina (Tel) 10-12, 12-10, 4-11, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11, 12-10; Yashini bt Prapti Sen (WB) 4-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 14-12, 14-12.
Youth boys: Final: Manav Thakkar (PSPB) bt Manush Shah (Guj) 7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6; Semifinals: Manav bt Anirban Ghosh (RSPB) 11-6, 11-2, 11-4, 7-11, 11-4; Manush bt Siddhesh Pande (Mah) 12-10, 9-11, 9-11, 11-6, 9-11, 14-12, 11-7.
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