Jun 21, 3 years ago

Lankan Ranasinghe denies India Perfect 10

Lankan Ranasinghe denies India Perfect 10

Sri Lanka’s Uday Imesh Ranasinghe denied India a clean sweep was he emerged champion beating India’s 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 ,India Friday (19). Incidentally, this was Sri Lanka’s first ever gold in the championships.

The Junior Girls crown went the Shrushthi Helangadi way as the girl from Maharashtra upset Archana Kamath 3-1. 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 Pakistan with five bronze each finished third in the overall medals tally.

In a defence versus offence final, the Lankan showed early glimpses of fine adaptability, matching his rival’s every stroke, to begin with. 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 semifinal and then in the final. “I was confident of a good show because I had a nice rhythm going. After the semifinal win, I only had to put the ball on table for my opponent to make mistakes,” said an elated Ranasinghe.

Manav Thkkar had very little difficulty against compatriot Parth Virmani as the boy from Surath won3-1 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 Thakkar, expectedly, annexed the Cadet Boys singles title, in the girls’ section Shrushthi Helangadi toppled favourite Archana 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.

Upset of the tournament

But the best match or upset of the championships happened to be between second-seeded Utkarsh Gupta and Sri Lankan Uday Ranasinghe. The latter, who is a regular on the global junior circuit, not only showed his proves but overpowered Utkarsh, the winner of the title in the last championships at Islamabad, with blistering forehands.

The credit must go to the Sri Lankan, who despite being in early trouble, sized up his opponent’s weaknesses and thrived on them. Playing percentage table tennis, he converted a good number of crucial points into winners, putting paid to Utkarsh’s ambition. What was best about the Lankan was his ability to shift gears from defence to offence and vice-versa.

On the other hand, Utkarsh went into a defensive mode at times, forgetting his strength which is attacking. Gaining from strength to strength after leveling the score at 2-all, the Lankan went on a cruise mode to shut Utkarsh down.

Doubles for Indians

Utkarsh made amends as he combined with Lalrinpuia to beat the Sri Lankan pair of Ranasinghe and 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.


Junior Boys:
Final: Uday Imesh Ranasinghe (SL) bt Lalrinpuia (Ind) 4-2 (11-9, 11-5, 4-11, 11-13, 12-10, 14-12);
Semifinals: 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).

Final: Utkarsh Gupta/Lalrinpuia (Ind) bt Uday Ranasinghe/Krish Wickramrathne (SL) 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-9).

Junior Girls:
Final: Sreeja Akula (Ind) bt Shruti Amruthe (Ind) 4-1 (11-9, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-8); Semifinals: 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).

Final: Shruti Amruthe/Sreeja Akula (Ind) bt Ruvin Kanangora/Priyadarshini (SL) 3-1 (6-11, 11-3, 11-6, 12-10).

Cadet Boys:
Final: Manav Thakkar (Ind) bt Parth Virmani (Ind) 3-1 (11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7);
Semifinals: 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).

Cadet Girls:

Final: Shrushthi Helangadi (Ind) bt Archana Kamath (Ind)) 3-1 (7-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7); Semifinals: 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).



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