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TT: Sharath, Shamini clinch national titles

Source: PTI
January 11, 2009 18:45 IST
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Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal retained the men's singles title for the Maharaja Pithapuram Cup while top seed K Shamini lifted the Travancore Cup by winning the women's singles competition in the 70th Senior National Table Tennis Championship at the Secretariat Indoor Hall in Patna on Sunday.

Former national champion Mouma Das went down to PSPB's Shamini 2-4 in a keenly-contested final, while top seed and India's number one paddler, Sharath, trounced unseeded Pathik Mehta 4-1. Mouma, who earlier clinched the women's doubles title pairing up with another former national champion Poulomi Ghatak, scripted a brilliant comeback during the fourth game of the singles final after Shamini bagged the first three games 11-8, 11-8, 11-6.

Although Mouma recaptured her touch late in the match to clinch the next two games at 11-8 each, her effort was clearly not enough to disrupt the rhythm of the Chennai girl, who clinched her maiden national crown by winning a thrilling fifth set 13-11. 

Sharath, who spanked Sourav Chakraborty of RSPB 4-1 in the last-four stage, didn't face much problem in getting past Pathik of Gujarat en route the national title for the fourth time. 

After winning a close first game 12-10, the 26-year-old Sharath dominated the show to clinch the next two games 11-8, 11-4. 

Pathik staged a fightback winning the fourth game 11-9 but the lanky Chennai boy neutralised his threat to wrap up the match 12-10.

 Sharath became richer by Rs 1.54 lakh while Shamini was awarded Rs one lakh.

These apart, Ashlesha Bodas of Maharahtra-A and Pathik Mehta were conferred with special awards for commendable performance among men and women, respectively. 

In women's doubles, third seeded pair Mouma and Poulomi stopped the winning run of unseeded Divya Deshpande and Ashlesha 4-2. 

It was a memorable journey for Divya and Ashlesha, who knocked out top-seeded pair of Olympian Neha Aggarwal and Shamini in the semi-final. 

Former national champion PSPB's Subhajit Saha paired up with teammate A Amal Raj to successfully negotiate the combined effort from R Raja and Sathiyan G of Tamil Nadu in the men's doubles.

The young paddlers showed excellent understanding between them, but the effort went in vein before the experienced duo of Subhajit and Amal Raj, as the won 4-2. 

In mixed doubles, unseeded pair of Maharashtra-A's Aniket Koparkar joined hands with teammate Pooja Sahasrabudhe to stun unseeded Subham Choudhary and Mousumi Paul of West Bengal 4-3 last night. 

Union Steel Minister Ram Bilas Paswan handed over the awards to the winners at a glittering closing ceremony, which was also attended by TTFI Secretary General Moolchand Chouhan among others.

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