Shillong: Several top-class players, including Manika Batra, were knocked out on Sunday at the 83rd Senior National Table Tennis Championship at the SAI Indoor Stadium in Shillong.
Manika Batra stepped out after losing her round of 32 match against RBI’s Ayhika Mukherjee. Ayhika led 3 games to 2 and was two points away from winning the match in the best of 7 games. However, Manika, who represents the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board, fought back to make it 3-3.
This was not the first time Manika has been in previous games. However, she had always found a way to fight back. This time, however, it was Ayhika who kept her nerve. She stormed to victory in the seventh game 11-3 and threw her arms in the air to win the match point, having largely controlled her emotions the entire time.
Meanwhile, Akash Pal and Prapti Sen of Railways Sports Promotion Board won the mixed doubles final 3-1 (best of five) against the Haryana team of Soumyajit Ghosh and Suhana Saini.
Longtime battlehorse and five-time National Champion Mouma Das proved that age is just a number. After a three-year hiatus, 38-year-old teenager defeated runner-up Diya Chitale 4-3 in the women’s singles to advance into the quarter-finals.
But eighth seed Prapti Sen failed to climb up. Previously, the promising Archana Kamath lost to a tenacious Yashini Sivashankar of Tamil Nadu and lost 4-3 in the Round of 32.
The day also saw some male seeds fall by the wayside.
Prominent among them were Harmeet Desai, eighth seed SFR Snehit, tenth seed Sudhanshu Grover, eleventh seed Ronit Bhanja, twelfth seed Anthony Amalraj and fifteenth seed Deepit Patil.
Although Meghalaya did not feature in the main rounds, a boy from Meghalaya who played for Delhi, Aadarsh Om Chhetri came into play against top player G Sathiyan but lost 4-0 in the Round of 32.
Originally from Laimer, Upper Shillong, Chhetri lived in Meghalaya until grade 4 before leaving to pursue his table tennis dreams and now represents Delhi.
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