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Meghana, Mane win air rifle mixed team gold in the 20th Kumar Sudendra Singh C’Ships

Meghana Sajjanar and Shahu Mane outplayed Nisha Kanwar and Divyansh Singh Panwar 16-6 for the air rifle mixed team gold in the 20th Kumar Surendra Singh shooting championship at the Dr. Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Thursday.

The Railway pair came up with a high quality fare, consistently hitting an average of 10.4 or more on each shot in racing to victory after the two teams were on par at 4-4.

Delhi duo of Paarth Makhija and Rajshree Sancheti bagged one of the two bronze medals by beating Arshdeep Singh and Ramita Jindal 16-14. Delhi shot 20.6, a decimal point better than Haryana to clinch the decisive two points after the teams were tied on 14-14.

Karnataka looked to be cruising to victory in the first bronze medal match when Darius Saurastri and Smriti Prabhu led 15-7, but Surya Pratap Singh and Zeena Khitta caught up for HImachal Pradesh by drawing level. The Karnataka pair clinched the bronze with a score of 20.3 as against 20.0.

Nancy and Samarvir Singh won the junior gold for Haryana, by beating Uttar Pradesh duo of Anushree Rai and Vidit Jain 16-12.

Uttar Pradesh did bag the youth gold through Ajay Malik and Kruti Rai, as the pair prevailed 16-12 against Umamahesh Maddineni and Rashi Mittal of Andhra Pradesh.

Reigning champions Diya Chitale Parag (youth) and Swastika Ghosh (junior) will not be defending their titles when the 83rd Junior and Youth National Table Tennis Championships gets underway at the YMCA TT Arena here on Friday.

Diya Chitale has chosen to skip this event for personal reasons while Swastika is away playing in an ITTF event in Zagreb.

In the absence of these two players, Maharashtra’s Jennifer Varghese, who recently won the under-15 title in the WTT Youth Contender event in Havirov, Czech Republic, will be the star attraction.

However, Jennifer, who will be competing in the under-17 category, will face a tough challenge from the top-ranked Suhana Saini (Haryana), Kavyasree Bhaskar (TN), Laksishita Narang and Riddhima Kapoor (both from Delhi).

Suhana Saini, who is the highest-ranked player in the under-19 category, will have to quell the challenge from the second-ranked Yashwini Ghorphade.

Tamil Nadu’s Nithyasree Mani and Maharashtra’s Pritha Vartikar are other players capable of winning the tournament. There is a lot at stake for the players as the Indian squad for the Asian Junior championships in Laos in September will be selected on the basis of performance in the nationals.

The top eight ranked players in each category will get direct entry into the main draw. The rest of the players are divided into groups and the winner of each group will qualify for the main draw.

Table Tennis Association of Kerala (TTAK), which is organising the tournament, has decided to award equal prize money to winners in the girl’s category in this tournament itself though the Committee of Administrators (COA) had decided to restore parity in prize money from next season.

“As an added incentive we decided to implement the COA’s decision in this tournament itself. The total prize money on offer is Rs 6.06 lakhs. The tournament has attracted entries from 500 players and to avoid a rush we will be conducting the girl’s events first The boy’s events will begin on June 21 and the finals will be played on June 23.

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