Tamil Nadu women pulled off a major coup by outplaying the defending champion, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) 3-1 in the semifinals of the UTT Senior National and inter-state table tennis championships here on Wednesday.
The major credit for TN’s victory should go to S. Yashini and V. Kowshika, who did the unimaginable to defeat Manika Batra, the top-ranked paddler, in the first and fourth rubbers respectively.
A 21-year-old frail looking Kowshika played an attacking game from the start, knowing pretty well that she had nothing to lose.
Whatever Manika threw back at her, it came back. Kowshika was exemplary in the fifth and deciding game winning it 11-5.
Yashini defeated Reeth Rishya in five games to give TN a 2-0 lead.
However, PSPB pulled one back when Archana Kamath defeated B. Kavyasree.
Yashini closed out the match with a commanding performance against Manika in the fourth.
“It is a huge win. All credit to our girls, who come for our club (Jawahar TT Academy) in Chennai,” said TN women’s team coach V. S. Rajan to Sportstar.