TT: Setback for Gujarat as Trisha’s heroics put Assam on top

Hyderabad, January 27, 2020

Reigning women;s champions Bengal A did not need a second invitation as they held sway in Group A, winning both their matches in the UTT 81st National Table Tennis Championships at the Saroonagar Indoor Stadium here today.

They first accounted for Uttar Pradesh 3-2 in a tough first round match before subduing Goa 3-0 to take the top perch in points table.

As for Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB), they had sufficient firepower and they did not miss the services of two important members of their squad—Madhurika Patkar and Archana Kamath—who are expected to arrive from Portugal tomorrow. Meanwhile, they went ahead with Group B programme against Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh, beating both teams 3-0, respectively.

That was the case in most other groups except in Group G, where leader Gujarat suffered a setback to their campaign when Assam, helped by young Trisha Gogoi, defeated them 3-2 in their first round group match.

However, for Gujarat, who finished among the quarter-finalists of the last edition at Cuttack, it must have come as a rude shock. The loss must have put in them a piquant situation as they have to win the remaining matches, particularly the one against Haryana, who will be strengthened by the return of Sutirtha Mukherjee from Portugal, to grab the second spot.

With just two teams from each group entering the second stage knockout, it looks a difficult proposition for Gujarat.

Frenaz Chipia opened for Gujarat with an easy 11-2, 11-6, 11-8 win over Jitakhee Mazumdar but the young Namna Jayswal could not measure up to the tricky Trisha who won 11-9, 13-11, 11-9. Luckily for Gujarat, the third singles went their way when Divyaba Gohil defeated Kritika Upadhaya, but what hurt them the most was the loss of Frenaz’s second singles as Trisha upped the ante in the fourth rubber, beating her opponent 9-11,11-9, 13-11, 11-5, to give Assam an even chance. And Jitakhee did not disappoint as she easily downed Namna 12-10, 11-8, 11-9.

In the five-team Group H matches, the tussle between Railways and Bengal B reached the decider with the teams level at 1-1 in the decider after they had taken two rubbers each.

Olympian Ankita Das was not in her elements and she went down to Sagarika Mukehrjee in her second singles after Nikita Sarkar had put Bengal B 2-1 up. Kaushani Nath was playing Sataporni De in the decider with one game each as they play for the top place in the group.

As for the men’s fare, with the PSPB paddlers still in transit, the other three teams in Group A went through the motions with Assam and Uttarakhand winning their matches against Punjab.

In other group matches, the No. 1 teams barring Uttar Pradesh in Group D, notched up two wins to more or less ensure top positions for them. However, Uttar Pradesh suffered a 1-2 defeat against hosts Telangana, who also defeated Meghalaya 3-0.


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