New Delhi, June 19 (IANS)
Sri Lanka's Uday Imesh Ranasinghe denied India a clean sweep as he beat Lalrinpuia 4-2 in the junior boys final on the concluding day of the South Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships at the Talkatora Stadium here on Friday.
The junior girls crown went to India's Shrushthi Helangadi as the Maharashtrian upset compatriot Archana Kamath 3-1. India, thus, finished with nine gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Sri Lanka were second with one gold, six silver and six bronze medals for a wonderful outing in a South Asian championships.
Nepal and Pakistan with five bronze each finished third in the overall medals tally.
In a defence versus offence junior boys final, Ranasinghe showed early glimpses of fine adaptability, matching his rival's every stroke.
But with his ability to combine very well his offensive game with great retrieval, he outwitted Puia who, after being 0-2 down, caught up at 2-2 only to give away too many negative points to his opponent.
But one cannot take the credit away from Ranasinghe for the way he responded – first against Utkarsh Gupta in the semi-final and then in the final.
Manav Thakkar had very little difficulty against compatriot Parth Virmani as the boy from Surat won 3-1 after leading comfortably 2-0.
Though Manav, expectedly, annexed the cadet boys singles title, in the girls section, Shrushthi toppled favourite Kamath 3-1.
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.
Utkarsh made amends for his final loss as he combined with Lalrinpuia to beat the Sri Lankan pair of Ranasinghe and Krish Wickramrathne to retain the junior boys doubles crown 3-1.
Similarly, the junior girls doubles final went the Indian way with Shruti Amruthe and Sreeja Akula putting it beyond the Lankan duo of Ruvin Kanangora and Priyadarshini, winning the title 3-1.
Final: Uday Imesh Ranasinghe (SL) bt Lalrinpuia (Ind) 4-2 (11-9, 11-5, 4-11, 11-13, 12-10, 14-12)
Semi-finals: Lalrinpuia bt Krish Wickramrathne (SL) 4-1 (11-9, 11-9, 11-9, 11-13, 11-5), Uday Ranasinghe (SL) bt Utkarsh Gupta 4-2 (9-11, 11-8, 1-11, 118, 11-9, 11-8)
Doubles Final: Utkarsh Gupta/Lalrinpuia (Ind) bt Uday Ranasinghe/Krish Wickramrathne (SL) 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-9)
Final: Sreeja Akula (Ind) bt Shruti Amruthe (Ind) 4-1 (11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8)
Semi-finals: Sreeja Akula bt Ruvin Kanangora (SL) 4-1 (11-1, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-20), Shruti Amruthe bt STM Priyadarshini (SL) 4-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-3, 11-5)
Doubles Final: Shruti Amruthe/Sreeja Akula (Ind) bt Ruvin Kanangora/Priyadarshini (SL) 3-1 (6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10)
Final: Manav Thakkar (Ind) bt Parth Virmani (Ind) 3-1 (11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7)
Semi-finals: Manav Thakkar bt Santoo Shreshtra (Nep) 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 13-11), Parth Virmani bt Virinka Hendahewa (SL) 3-2 (11-8, 11-4, 7-11, 9-11, 14-12)
Final: Shrushthi Helangadi (Ind) bt Archana Kamath (Ind) 3-1 (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7)
Semi-finals: Archana Kamath bt Imesha Desilva (SL) 3-0 (14-12, 11-7, 11-1), Srushthi Helangadi bt Hansani Kapoogkiyana (SL) 3-1 (12-10, 11-6, 11-5)Published 19 Jun 2015, 19:24 IST