The Tamil Nadu women’s team, last edition’s bronze medallist, booked its place in the knock-out (round of 16) with a facile 3-0 victory over Karnataka in their third Group-VIII contest of the UTT-84th Senior National and inter-state table tennis championships in Jammu on Monday. TN won its two other matches against Odisha (3-0), Daman and Diu (3-0).
V. Kowshika and S. Yashini won their matches with 3-0 and 3-1 margins respectively. In the third match, N. Deepika came back from being 0-2 down to win the next three (9-11, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9) against M. Anargya and ensure her team, ranked No.1 in the group, enter the pre-quarterfinals.
The Tamil Nadu men’s team staged a remarkable fightback to overcome Assam 3-2 in a Group-VIII match. Down 1-2, Preyesh Suresh Raj, Tamil Nadu No. 1 paddler, who had lost the first tie, held his nerve against Sankab Baruah in the fourth rubber to ensure TN stay alive in the contest. In the fifth and deciding rubber, senior TN paddler Nitin Thiruvengadam closed the doors on Assam with an 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 15-13 win over Gohain Agniv Bhaskar.
Earlier, Assam produced a huge upset with a 3-2 win over top-ranked Uttar Pradesh in a men’s Group-VIII tie.
The results: Men’s: Group I: PSPB bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0; Group II: Punjab bt Sikkim 3-0; RSPB bt Nagaland 3-0; Group III: TTFI 1 bt Ladakh 3-0; Delhi bt Kerala 3-0; Group IV: Haryana bt Meghalaya 3-0; Uttarakhand bt Chhattisgarh 3-1; Telangana bt Bihar 3-0; Karnataka bt J&K 3-1; Group VIII: TN bt Odisha 3-0; Assam bt UP 3-2. Round 2: UP bt Chandigarh 3-0.
Women’s: Group-I: RBI bt TTFI 1 3-0, bt J&K 3-0; Group-II: PSPB bt UP 3-0, bt Punjab 3-0; Kerala bt UP 3-0, bt Punjab 3-1; Group-VIII: TN bt Odisha 3-0, bt Daman & Diu 3-0, bt Karnataka 3-0.
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