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Muscat, March 15, 2020
Promising paddler Jeet Chandra stunned World No. 2 Manav Thakkar to clinch the U-21 men’s singles title at the 2020 ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open here on Saturday.
The World No. 18 Haryana boy outclassed compatriot Thakkar 11-6, 11-7, 13-11 in straight sets in the all-Indian final that concluded as a one-sided affair in 24 minutes.
After losing the first two sets without much fight, Thakkar tried to make a comeback with a good display. However, despite some resistance from his opponent, the determined Chandra wrapped up the final set and match to clinch the gold medal while Thakkar had to settle for silver.
The U-21 men’s singles competition saw dominance of Indian paddlers as Thakkar, Chandra, Manush Shah and Suravajjula Snehit made their way into the last-4 stage to make it all-Indian semi-finals. However, Thakkar overcame Snehit 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12 while Chandra outperformed Shah 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 in straight sets to progress into the final.
Earlier, seasoned campaigner Achanta Sharath Kamal recovered well from the first set setback to register a 5-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 win over Belarusian Aliaksandr Khanin in a men’s singles pre-quarter-finals match. Another Indian paddler Harmeet Desai also made his way into the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 7-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8 win against Egypt’s Omar Assar in a thrilling encounter which lasted for one hour and four minutes.
Meanwhile three Indian pairs secured entry in the doubles semi-finals. While the duo of Sharath and Desai thrashed Oman pair of Muhannad Al Balushi and Asad Alraisi 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 to enter men’s doubles semi-finals, Gujarat boy Manush Shah partnered with his state teammate Manav Thakkar to outshine Aliaxandr Khanin and Pavel Platonov of Belarus 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 in the last-8 encounter.
The pair of Diya Chitale and Archana Kamath also secured a semi-finals berth in the women’s doubles category.