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Aniket captures under-21 youth national TT title
Pune | January 01, 2007 6:45:52 PM IST
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City lad Aniket Koparkar captured the singles title in the maiden Under-21 Youth National Table Tennis championship which concluded at Cuttack yesterday.

Aniket's triumph was all the more important as he won the first gold for Maharashtra in the individual event.

Talking to UNI from Cuttack immediately after the finals, an elated Aniket said it was indeed most gratifying to have captured the title after putting two months of training-cum-competition in Germany.

Aniket whipped A Rajatkamal of Tamil Nadu 11-6, 11-8, 9-11, 13-11, 14-12 in the finals, according to reports reaching here.

Earlier, in the semis, Aniket got the better of Devesh Karia of Petroleum Sports Control Board (PSCB) in a fully stretched struggle 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 15-13, 8-11, 11-9. In the quarters, he disposed of R Abhishek of Tamil Nadu 11-6, 12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8.

''I attacked Rajatkamal right from the start and took the first two games rather easily and never allowed him to counter attack,'' Aniket said. The decider saw Rajat survive five match points before Aniket wrapped up the game and the match.

''I used the forehand and back-hand top spin drive to telling effect. Also, my high toss serve unnerved Rajat.'' Aniket attributed his success to former Olympian and eight-time national champion Kamlesh Mehta and Sunil Babras. Aniket was training under Babras for seven years at Pune during his formative years.

Aniket said his semi-final match against Karia was more absorbing for, after dropping the first game, he fought back to gain the upper hand.

His two-month stint, starting September, in representing ''Brhul Wochem'' Dusseldorf, Germany, and participation in the German league, had helped him to improve on his technique, Aniket said. The 18-year-old 12th standard commerce student at the Symbiosis Junior College here has been sponsored by Air India .

Aniket had represented the country in the 2006 SAAAF Games at Delhi when he claimed two golds (team events) and a silver in the singles event. He had claimed a bronze in the Indian World Junior Circuit at Kolkata. He has also participated in the US open and the Australian open events. Only two weeks back, he had won the national-ranking tournament at Aurangabad.

Apart from Aniket, the other gold winners at Cuttack were Madhurika Patkar and Pooja Sahasrabudhe of Thane (Maharashtra).

Patkar defeated Soumi Mondal of Railways 11-5, 11-7, 11-7, 11-9 in the girls singles final. In Under-17 girls event, Pooja beat Divya Deshpande of Pune 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6 to give Maharashtra the third gold.

UNI IS MAZ PDS KN1717

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