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G Sathiyan, Suthirtha Mukherjee top

G Sathiyan, Suthirtha Mukherjee top
Highlights

Arjun Ghosh’s trademark focus and intensity was missing, thanks to a clinical G Sathiyan who added another piece of silverware to his kitty when he beat the West Bengal lad 4-0 in less than 30 minutes in the 11Even Sports National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships at Abhay Prashad Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.

SREEJA FINISHES ENVIABLE SECOND
Indore: Arjun Ghosh’s trademark focus and intensity was missing, thanks to a clinical G Sathiyan who added another piece of silverware to his kitty when he beat the West Bengal lad 4-0 in less than 30 minutes in the 11Even Sports National Ranking (Central Zone) Table Tennis Championships at Abhay Prashad Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.

The women final was lopsided when No 2 seed Suthirtha Mukherjee from West Bengal steamrolled Sreeja Akula 4-1, after the Telangana girl had a dream run at Indore.

The world came upside down for the talented Sreeja. Until the final, she was able to keep the ball on table and force her opponents, as big as Olympian Manika Batra, fifth seed Mousumi Paul and reigning national champion Madhurika Patkar, play according to her terms. But in the final, Suthirtha several notches better, particularly when the inexperienced Sreeja consistently put the ball out.

Perhaps overawed by the occasion, the little girl from Telangana found her backhand deserting her while it worked well for Suthirtha, who had a great season last year, including winning the Institutional crown. Sreeja did offer resistance in the fifth game but it was too late and too little.

However, a big pat came from foreign coach Massimo Costantini who said that he was very much impressed with Sreeja.
“A good prospect for the future of Indian table tennis. She played truly well and to her potential,” he said. There cannot be a bigger compliment than the one coming as it did from India’s national coach. As she grows Sreeja is bound to go places, provided she keeps her attitude right and priorities clear.

Results: Men singles- Final: G Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Arjun Ghosh (WB) 11-5, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2; Women singles-Final: Suthirtha Mukherjee (WB) bt Sreeja Akula (TS) 11-4, 5-11, 11-6, 11-4, 12-10; Semifinals: Sreeja Akula bt Madhurika Patkar 11-2, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5, 1-11, 9-11, 11-9, Suthirtha Mukherjee bt 8-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 12-14, 11-6, 11-3; Youth Boys Singles: Final: Ronit Bhanja (WB) bt Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 11-4, 7-11, 13-11, 11-4, 12-14, 14-12; Youth Girls Singles: Final: Selenadeepthi Selvakumar (TN) bt Archana Kamath (PSPB) 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 9-11, 11-4.

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