By: Monsum Hazarika
Belgrade, Oct 8: India’s new generation of table tennis players continued making waves on the world circuit, with the Junior Boys clinching the gold medal in the Team Event of the Serbia Open Junior and Cadet Open here on Saturday evening. Earlier, Manav Thakkar claimed two silver medals and Manush Shah and Archana Kamat won a silver and a bronze each to make it a true bonanza for the Indian contingent. The Indian team, featuring Manav Thakkar, Manush Shah and Ishaan Hingorani, beat the US-Canadian team of Sharon Alguetti, Gal Alguetti and Jeremy Hazin 3-1 in the final to win the coveted title. Mumbai’s Manav began the medal hunt by winning the silver medal while Vadodara’s Manush claimed the bronze in the Junior Boys’ Singles category. They then combined to win another silver for India in the Junior Boys Doubles Bengaluru’s Archana too showed her mettle as she raced to the silver in the Junior Girls’ Singles and a bronze in the Girls’ Doubles with Serbia’s Dragana Vignijevic. Manav, the top seed at the championship, went down fighting to USA’s Sharon Alguetti in an epic final to miss out on the gold in the Singles. He did well to recover from a two-game deficit to take the match all the way into the seventh. But he failed to drive home the momentum and lost lost 3-4 (7-11, 10-12, 11-6, 12-14, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11). Manav was in his elements in the doubles too, in the company of Manush Shah. But the CanadianRomania duo of Jeremy Hazin and Paul Mladin proved to be a notch better than the Indian pair, winning 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-13, 12-10). In the Junior Girls’ category, top seeded Archana put up a valiant battle but couldn’t get the better of Serbia’s Sabina Surjan. She lost 3-4 (11-9, 4-11, 7-11, 13-11, 11-3, 7-11, 8- 11. She and her local partner Dragana Vignijevic lost to the German pair of Sophia Klee and Yuki Tsutsui 2-3 (5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 6-11, 5-11).