Manush Shah of Gujarat, making amends for his loss in the season-opener at Sonepat, overcame Raegan Albuquerque of Maharashtra 4-3 to lift the Youth Boys trophy in the UTT National Ranking (South Zone) Table Tennis Championships at the Jimmy George Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
In the Junior Boys and Junior Girls finals, Vishwa Deenadayalan of Tamil Nadu and Anusha Kutumbale of Madhya Pradesh defeated Aadarsh Om Chetri of Delhi (4-2) and Munmun Kundu of West Bengal (4-1), respectively.
The normally free-flowing left-hander, who lost the final to Manav Thakkar in the North Zone, was stopped in his tracks for a while when Raegan slowed down the game, taking pace off the ball.
So much so, Manush was not only on the back foot but found to be making far too many mistakes. This helped the Maharashtra boy lead 2-1 and then 3-2.
But the hard-hitting Gujarat lad came into his own while pushing Raegan to the corner with his blistering forehands. Yet, the match saw some fine, long rallies as the final hung in the balance with none yielding. Manush took the crucial sixth game and from there pursued the same relentless attacking path to win the title in style.
In the semi-finals on Monday morning, Manush beat another Maharashtra rival Mandar Hardikar (4-0) while Raegan got stretched by Haryana's Jeet Chandra before he put it across for a hard-earned 4-1 victory.
Anusha hit the top gear right from the word go in the Junior Girls final to claim the season's consecutive crown when she defeated Munmun Kundu of West Bengal 4-1. The top-seed MP girl, driving well, faced a momentary hiccup when the West Bengal paddler won the third game. But that was all she could do as Anusha sealed her fate rather easily by taking the next two games.
Earlier, Anusha had it easy against Delhi's Vanshika Bhargava (4-0) in the semi-finals while Munmun beat Karnataka's Anargya Manjunath 4-2. The latter was in the game until the fourth but the West Bengal paddler slammed the door on her with wins in the next two games.
For Vishwa Deenadayalan, too, it was a successive title win as he managed to pull it off against Aadarsh Om Chetri 4-2. The visibly tired Delhi boy did well to tackle the Tamil Nadu left-hander, despite the loss of the first game to go 2-1 up.
But the tricky Vishwa, with a good service variety in his arsenal posed a lot of problems which Chetri could not counter, ending up committing more mistakes. Once he levelled the score, it was easy for the Tamil Nadu boy who controlled the match thereon.
In contrast, Vishwa and Aadarsh had to bring in their best in their semi-finals to thwart Hrishikesh Malhotra of Maharashtra and Jayabrata Bhattacharjee of North Bengal. Both the semis went down to the wire and had similar trappings as their opponents managed to win alternate games, before the eventual winners wrapped it up in the decider.
( 511 Words)