Table tennis: Junior paddlers bag 2 silver, 3 bronze medals

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Indian paddlers pose after an impressive performance at the ITTF World 2018 Serbia Junior and Cadet Open. PC: Indian Sports Honours

Kovilovo (Serbia), September 21: India’s young paddlers extended their purple patch on the international stage, clinching two silver and three bronze medals in the 2018 Serbian Junior and Cadet Open here.

Deepit Patil-Anukram Jain and Radhapriya Goel-Anusha Kutumbale emerged as the stars, winning the silver medals in the Junior Boys’ Doubles and the Junior Girls’ Doubles categories respectively.

Diya Chitale-Swastika Ghosh also excelled in the Junior Girls’ Doubles category, claiming the bronze medal. Manush Shah was the sole individual to pick up two medals, one along with Raegan Albuquerque in the Junior boys’ Doubles and the other in the Junior Boys’ Singles event.

Deepit-Anukram and Raegan-Manush eased into the semifinals with easy wins to raise the prospects of a gold. However, the  Raegan-Manush pair capitulated 2-3 against the Thailand-Indonesia duo of Yanapong Panagitgun and Gerald Jun Yu Zong; Deepit-Anukram, however, put up a stellar fight to register a 3-2 victory over Singapore’s Josh Shao Han Chua and Yew En Koen Pang.

In the finals, Deepit-Anukram got off to a winning start but lost their next two games to the Indonesia-Thailand combination of Yanapong and Gerald. They, however, restored parity by winning the next one but lost the decider 8-11 to settle for the silver medal.

The Junior Girls’ category saw three Indian pairs making it to the quarterfinals. However, only Diya-Swastika and Radhapriya-Anusha survived their rounds while Poymantee Baisya-Prapti Sen bowed out of the tournament.

The combo of Radhapriya-Anusha booked its berth in the finals with a comprehensive 3-0 win but Diya-Swastika struggled to keep pace with Jinnipa Sawettabut of Thailand and Eunice Lim of Singapore and had to be content with a bronze medal.

The finals saw a nail-biting encounter, with the two pairs winning alternate games; in the fifth and final game, however, Jinnipa Sawettabut-Eunice proved to be much stronger, prevailing 11-9 to take the gold medal.

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