After two rounds of matches on the opening day of the UTT National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships, only 10 out of 21 sub-junior girls from West Bengal looked like making the main draw cut.
However, a clear picture would emerge only on Saturday when the third round of play is completed. As for the sub-junior boys, the situation is very fluid with just a round having taken place. With 48 groups in each section, only the group topper qualifies for the stage 2 knockout matches which will begin on Saturday.
Surprisingly, the top players failed to justify their billing as they were at the receiving end on a humid day. Kerala's Cicily Joshy Maria was a surprise winner in Group 1 when she defeated Maharashtra's Pritha Vartikar 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 to more or less seal her place in the main draw while Oishiki Jordar of West Bengal in Group 4 lost to another Maharashtra girl, Pearl Amalsadiwala, 5-11,5-11, 5-11, putting her qualification in jeopardy.
Similarly, Karuna Gajendran of Karnataka made her qualification a tough proposition when she lost to Yavanika Harimakeshwaran from Tamil Nadu 9-11, 5-11, 9-11 in Group 6.
Other girls from the host state who did well on the first day included Sucheta Prosad, Doumili Datta, Rupsa Ghoshal, Saanvi Ghosh, Anushkaa Datta, Arisa Das, Sneha Das, Soumya Das, Sayani Panda and Swarnali Chaudhuri. All of them have a match in hand and can make the cut if they manage to put it across their opponents on Saturday.
With the top eight players in the sub-junior girls' section -- Suhana Saini (Hry), Taneesha Kotecha (Mah), Kavyashree Baskar (TN), Nilishma Sarkar (WB), Lakshita Narang (Del), Nehal Venkatasamy (TN), Sneha Bhowmick (WB) and Mannika Kesar (Del) -- having already sealed their places in the main draw, the 48 group qualifiers will join the eight seeded players.
As for the sub-junior boys, Delhi's Aadarsh Om Chetri enjoys the top seeding with Divyansh Srivastava (UP), Preyesh Suresh Raj (TN), Sarth Mishra (UP), Jash Modi (Mah), Sujan Bharadwaj (Kar), Shivam Chandra (UP) and Ansuhamn Agarwal (Goa) following him in that order of seeding.
They will be joined by 48 group toppers in the main draw, also to be played on Saturday.
( 386 Words)