Lankan Uday Ranasinghe denies India Perfect 10
Sri Lanka’s Uday Imesh Ranasinghe denied India a clean sweep as he emerged champion beating Lalrinpuia 4-2 in the Junior Boys final on the concluding day of the South Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships here on Friday.
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 <g data-gr-id="39">were</g> second with one gold, six silver and six bronze medals for a wonderful outing in <g data-gr-id="40">a South Asian championships</g> thus far. Nepal and <g data-gr-id="44">Paksitan</g> 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 at the Talkatora Stadium, 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 <g data-gr-id="28">responded ?</g> 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 <g data-gr-id="30">table</g> for my opponent to make mistakes,” said an elated Ranasinghe.
Manav <g data-gr-id="32">Thkkar</g> had very little difficulty against compatriot Parth Virmani as the boy from <g data-gr-id="33">Surath</g> won 3-1 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 <g data-gr-id="38">Helangadi</g> toppled favourite Archana Kamath 3-1. Archana, despite winning the first game could not come to terms with <g data-gr-id="43">Shrushthi’s</g> 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.