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Neha gets top billing in both singles and doubles

Pune, Oct 11 (UNI) Ace paddler Neha Aggarwal has been given the top billing in both the singles and doubles events of the girls category at the Commonwealth Youth Games which gets underway at the Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex, Balewadi here tomorrow.

Kolkata girl Soumi Mondal has been seeded second in the singles and will team up with Neha when the table tennis events begin from October 13.

Local girls Divya Deshpande and Pooja Shastrabudhe will form another pair and have been seeded third in the doubles.

Not much is not expected from the boys who returned from the training camp in Ajmer along with the rest of the Indian contingent and sixth seeded Saomyajit Ghosh will spearhead the boys' challenge.

Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) secretary general Dhanraj Choudhary was confident that the Indian paddlers will surely bag a couple of gold medals in the Games.

''Neha will be participating in both the singles and doubles event so we have a great chance to atleast bag a couple of golds,'' Choudhary said.

However, the terrain for the boys would be a lot tougher as they will have to fight it out with the top paddlers from Canada and England who have taken the top seedings.

India's four-member boy's team will feature Soumyajot Ghosh, who is the highest seeded Indian, Sathiyan Ganesekharan, Raj Mondal and Subham Sharma.

Canada's Ling Yang and Shen Qiang have been seeded at the top, while the England duo of Lian Pitchford and Gavin Evans are the second seeds.

Neha is bound to attract the limelight here but Choudhary, who is also the manager of the table tennis for the Games, believes that her other teammates cannot be written off easily.

''A couple of medals are also on the cards as Divya and Pooja have been preparing well and are very much capable to defeat even the best of players on their day.

''Neha is in a good form and the training camp at Ajmer has helped not only her but also to other players who have been motivated a lot with her presence,'' Choudhary added.

Chaudhary was also satisfied with the infrastructure and facilities being provided to the players with as many as six competition tables to take care of smooth functioning of the all the events.


Story first published: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 21:32 [IST]
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