Surat Pride: Surati boy Manav wins South Asian Table-Tennis title

Manav Thakkar of Surat defeated his Indian counterpart Parth Virmani 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7 to win the cadet boy’s title in the South Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on Friday. In the semifinal Manav defeated Santoo Shreshtra of Nepal 11-5, 11-8, 13-11.

Manav Thkkar had very little difficulty against compatriot Parth Virmani as the boy from Surat won 3-1 after leading comfortably 2-0. Parth posed a minor scare and posed questions to Manav. But brushing aside the loss in the third game Manav sewed it up in the fourth for the crown.

Though Manav, expectedly, annexed the cadet boys singles title, in the girls’ section Shrushthi Helangadi toppled favourite Archana Kamath 3-1 (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7). Archana, despite winning the first game could not come to terms with Shrushthi’s good, consistent forehand play as well as some excellent serves. Even otherwise, Archana was making far too many unforced errors, giving away easy points to her compatriot. But Shrushthi upped the ante after 1-1 and attacked well to seal the fate of the girl from Bengaluru.

Sri Lanka’s Uday Imesh Ranasinghe denied India a clean sweep was he emerged champion beating India’s Lalrinpuia 11-9, 11-5, 4-11, 11-13, 12-10, 14-12 in the jnior boys final on the concluding day of the event. Incidentally, this was Sri Lanka’s first ever gold in the championships.

The junior girls title went to Sreeja Akula of India after she got the better of Shruti Amruthe, also of India, 11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8. India, thus, finished with nine gold, three silvers and one bronze medal. Lanka were second with one gold, six silver and six bronze medals for a wonderful outing in a South Asian championships thus far. Nepal and Paksitan with five bronze each finished third in the overall medals tally.

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