TT Nationals: Jubin bouncing back with elan

A product of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) Academy, Jubin was National No. 1 in 2009. Sure enough, he was appointed an officer in the Human Resources department of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC).

A wrist tendonitis injury in 2013 nearly destroyed Jubin Kumar's career after doctors said he couldn’t play again.   -  S. S. Kumar

The individual competitions in the senior National table tennis championships could be about the comeback men, such as Achanta Sharath Kamal and his doughty opponent in the tussle for team supremacy, Jubin Kumar.

A product of the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) Academy, Jubin was National No. 1 in 2009. Sure enough, he was appointed an officer in the Human Resources department of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC).

A wrist tendonitis injury in 2013 nearly destroyed his career after doctors said he couldn’t play again. “Watching the game on TV with plaster on my playing hand was depressing,” recalled the 28-year-old.

“My mother was a great motivator and believed I would return to the game. It took six months for the injury to heal and a year and a half of rehabilitation to regain tournament fitness,” said the stylish southpaw. Haryana, his parent association and his teammates were a great help during those times.

On his fine run in Hyderabad so far, he said that beating Soumyajit Ghosh was sweet satisfaction. “I had lost to him so many times,” said Jubin. About the numero uno who vanquished him, his praise was lavish. “Sharath belongs to a different league. He has tremendous experience and there is so much that I get to learn from him,” he added.

Sharath has been given pride of place in the men’s singles seedings largely in recognition of his world no. 67 standing. With due consideration to his stature on the international firmament, his phenomenal climb in May 2015 to 32 in world rankings and the career threatening injuries he has faced, his inability to participate in national tournaments has been overlooked.

Seven men and four women from Telangana qualified for the main draw. In the main draw on the distaff side, eighth ranked Nikhat Banu and promising junior Akula Sreeja advanced to the second round with facile wins. Nikhat defeated Sayantika Kundu 13-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 and Sreeja subdued 11-9, 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.

The seedings: Men: 1. A. Sharath Kamal 2. Anthony Amalraj 3. Soumyajit Ghosh 4. Harmeet Desai 5. Devesh Karia 6. G. Sathiyan 7. Sudhanshu Grover 8. Sanil Shetty.

Women: 1. Manika Batra 2. Mouma Das 3. K. Shamini 4. Divya Deshpande 5. Pooja Sahastrabudhe 6. Ankita Das 7. Madhurika Patkar 8. Nikhat Banu.

The results: Women: 1st round: Akula Sreeja bt Shruthi Amrute 4-0, Senhora D’Souza bt Selena Deepthi 4-2, Shreya Ghosh bt Kakoli Lahkar 4-0, Mousumi Paul bt Monica Manohar 4-1, Takeme Sarkar bt Soumi Mondal 4-1, Garima Goyal bt Abhinaya Ramesh 4-2, Nikhat Banu bt Sayantika Kundu 4-0, Ankita Das bt Meghana Kakaria 4-0, Maria Rony bt Anushka Dutta 4-3, Vidya Narasimhan bt Archana Kamat 4-3, Pallavi Kundu bt Moumita Dutta 4-2, Krithwika Sinha Roy bt Meenu Basak 4-0, Frenaz Chipia bt Pranitha G. 4-2, Sanya Sehgal bt Nandita Saha 4-3, Sukanya Bose bt Saswati Ghosh 4-2, Charvi Kawle bt Esha Monga 4-0, Reeth Rishya bt Shwetha K. 4-2, Ayhika Mukherjee bt Sayani Bose 4-0, Sehera Jacob bt Varuni Jaiswal 4-3, Priti Shankar bt Rutuja Khopkar 4-0, Pooja Sahasrabudhe bt Kritika Upadhyay 4-0, Madhurika Patkar bt Anusha Kutumbale 4-0, Rupsi Bhattacharya bt Laasya V. 4-0, Neha Aggarwal bt Pooja Sharma 4-0, Anindita Chakraborthy bt Priyanka Pareek 4-0, Amrutha Pushpak bt Sikha Jacob 4-3, Shweta Parte bt Naina Jaiswal 4-1, Sagarika Mukherjee bt Devika Bhide 4-0.