Vadodara, January 5: Delhi girls Yukti Malhotra and Shreya Goel won their qualifying round 1 matches in the U-14 and U-17 categories respectively at the UTT 65th National School Games Table Tennis Championships at Sama Indoor Sports Stadium in Vadodara on Sunday (January 5), under the aegis of School Games Federation of India (SGFI).
While Yukti beat Gayatri Bhist 11-3, 11-4, 11-1, Shreya thrashed Sikkim's Palmu Bhatia 11-4, 11-3, 11-5. Maharashtra paddler Karan Kukreja registered a dominating 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 victory against Tripura's Shubhrajit Das in the U-17 boys singles qualifying round 1.
In the other matches of the U-17 boys' category, Tamil Nadu's K Harish and Telangana's Yelle Raju also notched up easy victories against their respective opponents. While Chennai boy Harish thrashed Manipur's Nandeibam Bolex 11-3, 11-9, 11-8, Hyderabad's 14-year-old Yelle Raju outclassed Goa's Raunak Narvekar 11-4, 11-3, 11-2.
Meanwhile, in the U-17 girl's category, Goa's Stuti Shivani overcame the first-set setback to beat Jammu and Kashmir's Divyanshi Sharma 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9. Puducherry's Jayashri also managed to notch up a hard-fought 11-7, 8-11, 11-1, 11-9 win over Suvidha Yadav of Uttar Pradesh.
Former India table tennis player Kamlesh Mehta and renowned TT Coach, Sandeep Gupta were impressed with the organisation of the competition and the facilities. They have improved over the years.
"Fortunately thanks to Table Tennis Association of Baroda (TTAB) and Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), we had a discussion with School Games Federation of India (SGFI) and they were open to having private partners to support them. And look at the way today, the tournament has grown and is an example of a strong platform where paddlers can perform right at the school level and get a chance to make it big," said the eight-time national champion.
Earlier in the morning, the inauguration ceremony took place with dignitaries including Jayaben Thakkar (President-TTAB), Dr Rajesh Mishra (Secretary General / CEO-SGFI-Agra), H Madhavan (Basin Manager, ONGC-Vadodara), Kamlesh Mehta (Director UTT and Arjuna awardee), GS Paliwal (Executive Director (Mktg. & HR)-GACL), Monalisa Barua Mehta (Arjuna Awardee), Mukesh Kumar Tiwari (Chief General Manager, GAIL-Vadodara), Sandeep Gupta (Dronacharya Awardee), Tansukh Chhatbar (Observer & Jt secretary SGFI), Kalpesh Thakkar (Hon'ble Secretary-TTAB), Gaurav Dixit (PRO SGFI) and Rohan Bhanage (CEO Sama Sports Complex) present along with a total of 968 players from 38 units taking part in total of 12 events including six team championships, six individual age-category (U-14, U-17 and U-19) events of boys & girls. The finals will be played on January 9.
Source: Media Release