East Zone TT meet has hectic time after stranded players arrive

Aizawl, Nov 18 (IANS) With the day’s matches having been rescheduled to accommodate stranded players in the sub-junior and cadet categories of the National Ranking (East Zone) Table Tennis Championships, the players and match officials had hectic time at the R. Dengthuama Multipurpose Indoor Stadium here on Friday.

The 30-odd players arrived here 26 hours late and straightaway headed for their matches at the venue, after arrival at the airport.

They arrived late as their scheduled flight that was to fly them from Guwahati to Aizawl on Thursday was cancelled due to “technical reasons”.

Some of the first-round matches in the sub-junior boys generated keen interest as were the girls matches between Sudipta Chakraborty of West Bengal and Hrishikesh M. Bhatt from Kerala, Harshil Kothari of Gujarat and Jash Modi of Maharashtra, Rudra Narayan Ghosh and Manav Mehtra of Maharshtra, Harsh Patel of Guajrat and Aryamaan Das of Assam and Haryna’s Lalroluahapuia and Roopan Santhosh of Tamil Nadu.

Bhatt made a valiant effort before losing his first round match to Sudipa 12-10, 9-11, 6-11, 12-10, 8-11.

Similarly, Jash Modi, another sufferer, went down fighting to Harshil Kothari 7-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 10-12. His state mate, Manav Mehta failed to survive the onslaught of a gutsy Rudra Narayan who won 5-11, 11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7, and Harsh Patel made a nice comeback win against Assam boy Aryamaan with the former turning it around 8-11, 14-12, 13-11, 10-12, 11-7.

Lalroluahpuia, originally from Mizoram who took transfer to Haryana, outlasted Tamil Nadu’s Roopan. In this see-saw match, both swapped wins until the decider was won by the Haryana boy.

In comparison, the second round matches were more one-sided and even the Sub-Junior girls’ first round matches did not throw up any surprise as the favourites inched closer to qualification.

With 350 matches scheduled for the day in all four sections, the Cadet Boys and Cadet Girls were hurrying through their first round matches as all competitors have to complete three rounds on Friday. The last day of the championships on Saturday will feature only the main draw events, including the finals.

“Despite problems, we are happy to have accommodated all players that had sent in their entries. After all, they are spending so much to come all the way here to play matches. We couldn’t have denied them the chance of competing in the last zonal event,” said competition Manager N. Ganeshan.

–IANS

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