In an all Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) affair, Anthony Amalraj and Manika Batra clinched the men’s and women’s singles crowns of the senior National table tennis championships at the Kotla Vijay Bhaskara Reddy indoor stadium on Sunday. Amalraj subdued Gnanasekharan Sathiyan 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9 and Manika Batra staved off a stiff challenge from Pooja Sahasrabuddhe 11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7, 7-11, 14-12.
It was the second title for Amalraj, who was exultant in his hour of triumph but not as much as he was when he won in Lucknow. It was a truly commendable show from young Sathiyan, tiding over the tragedy of his father’s demise around the time of the East Zone national ranking tournament about two months ago.
“I am obviously happy to win my second title,” said Amalraj. “It was a 50-50 game and both of us had our chances. I am a bit stronger mentally and played better today,” said he said.
“He was just awesome. I’ve played him four times this year but haven’t been able to beat him. But they have been close matches,” said Sathiyan, quite composed despite being deprived of the title for the second time after missing out to Soumyajith Ghosh in Puducherry in the last edition. “He (Anthony) produces those big points to surge ahead but I am hopeful I will beat him,” he added.
Sathiyan had enough reason to cherish this championship though. “It was a dream to beat Sharath Kamal. He is such a fantastic player. I think he was caught off guard as he hadn’t played me for some time. I had nothing to lose so I played freely and that paid off,” said the youngster, coached by former National champion S. Raman.
Final: Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 4-2 (11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9)
Semifinals: G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt A. Sharath Kamal 4-0 (12-10, 11-8, 11-8, 11-3), Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) bt Soumyajit Ghosh (PSPB) 4-1 (11-6, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 13-11).
Final: Abhishek Yadav/Sudhanshu Grover (Raj) bt Arjun Ghosh/Anirban Ghosh (WB) 3-0 (11-4, 11-9,11-9); Semifinals: Abhishek Yadav/Sudhanshu Grover (Raj) bt Nithin Thiruvengadam (CB)/Sourav Saha (PSPB) 11-9, 11-6, 11-2, Arjun Ghosh/Anirban Ghosh (WB) bt Ravindra Kotiyan/Omkar Torgalkar (RSPB) 3-1 (11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 14-12).
Women’s Singles: -
Final: Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (PSPB) 4-3 (11-3, 8-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7, 7-11, 14-12) Semifinals: Manika Batra (PSPB) bt Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) 4-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-9, 11-7), Pooja Sahasrabuddhe (PSPB) bt Madhurika Patkar (Mah) 4-2 (8-11, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7).
Final: Krittwika Sinha Roy/Mousumi Paul (WB) bt Mouma Das/K. Shamini (PSPB) 3-2 (13-11, 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10)
Semifinals: Mouma Das/K.Shamani (PSPB) bt Seraha Jocob/Maria Rony (KRL) 11-5, 11-8, 11-6, Mousmi Paul /Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) bt Divya Deshpande/Madhurika Patkar (Mah) 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8.
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