Indian paddlers create history, win gold-silver in Junior Boys' Team event in Slovenia
New Delhi, Sep. 22: India’s young paddlers put up a spectacular show in the Slovenia Junior and Cadet Open late on Thursday night, winning an unprecedented gold and silver in the Junior Boys’ Team event and another silver in the Cadet Girls’s Team competition.
The India A boys overcame the formidable Chinese Taipei trio while their B counterparts got the better of the Thai-USA team to make it an all-India final.
The India B boys, led by Snehit Suravajjula, Parth Virmani and Anukram Jain, pulled off a minor 3-2 upset by toppling the A team that featured Jeet Chandra, Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah in the title round.
Snehit Suravajjula began the march for India B by beating the higher rated Jeet Chandra 3-2 (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-8) in the opening singles. Parth Virmani, however, couldn’t build on the lead, losing to a dominant Manav Thakkar 0-3 (6-11, 4-11, 9-11).
The B team slipped further behind as Anukram Jain failed to unravel Manush Shah in the third singles; he lost 1-3 (11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 10-12).
But in the reverse singles, India B were back at the top of their games, with Snehit again leading the charge. He beat Manav 3-2 (11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5) to take the exciting clash to the decider.
Virmani then put up a brave fight to beat Jeet Chandra 3-2 (5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6) to clinch the thriller. The boys embraced each other and graciously accepted the cheers of the fans who appreciated the display.
Almost around the same time, India’s Cadet Girls were on the verge of creating history of their own. Led by Mumbai’s Diya Chitale, they got past Korea Republic B in the semifinals 3-1.
In the finals, against Chinese Taipei, they showed their mettle once again before losing 2-3 in the final.
The Indian Girls began on a sombre note, with Vanshika Bhargava losing to the much-feared Fong-En Cai 1-3 (5-11, 12-14, 11-8, 7-11); but Diya Chitale who remained unbeaten in all her singles matches launched the fightback, thrashing Ci-Xuan Chen 3-0 (11-7, 13-11, 11-8).
Diya and Kundu Munmun, however, were no match for Fong-En Cai and Ci-Xuan Chen in the doubles event. They easily lost 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-6). But Diya Chitale promptly restored parity, subduing a defiant Fong-En Cai 3-1 (5-11, 11-4, 11-5, 11-4).
Vanshika Bhargava, however, succumbed to Ci-Xuan Chen’s experience in the decider 1-3 (6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 6-11) to settle for the silver.
The individual championships begin on Friday, with Indian boys and girls looking good enough to pick some more silverware.