Rusty players struggle on opening day of men's competition

·2-min read

Panchkula, Feb 20 (PTI) The men's singles qualification got underway in the UTT 82nd National Table Tennis Championships here on Saturday with the first-round matches did not throwing any surprises.

A few results added glitter as they went the full distance. Among them, Roshan Joshi from Madhya Pradesh had to rely on his skills to beat Mathivanan Kalaivanan of Karnataka 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-13, 11-7 to move into the second round.

Joshi led 2-0 but the Karnataka boy levelled the score to give his rival a scare. But in the decider, the MP boy took a sizable lead and maintained it throughout to win.

Similarly, Kerala’s Aswin Gokul coasted along nicely with a 2-0 lead before Dishant Parida from Odisha shifted gears to beat the Kerala paddler 8-11, 16-18, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6. It needed some courage from the latter who, despite being down 0-2, recovered remarkably to outwit his opponent.

Aditya Dev from Assam followed the same path, taking the last three games to beat Goa’s Reagan Pinto 7-11, 2-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-6. Manipur’s Denial Rajkumar downed Nitin Singh Gusain of Uttarakhand 8-11, 12-10, 12-14, 11-9, 11-9 in another first-round thriller.

Another five-game match was played between Sameer Sahni of FCI and Vaibhav Dahibhate of Central Revenue Services Board which the experienced FCI paddler won, but not before facing initial hiccups. Sahni won 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-5.

Railways’ Kiranjoy Pushilal had to wage a grim battle against Sachin Hemanth of TNTTA after trailing 0-2 to make a match of it. In the end, his experience over the Chennai rival stood him in good stead as he won 6-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7.

Delhi’s Parth Virmani, who represents Central Revenue Services Board, met his match in Sarth Mishra from Uttar Pradesh. An attacking Parth was rusty and it reflected in his first extended game which he lost 15-17. He, however, did manage to win the second before losing the third.

With pressure mounting, the experienced paddler steadied to end Sarth’s resistance and win 15-17, 11-2, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7. PTI BS AT AT