New Delhi, June 1:
Young Indian paddlers Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh’s splendid run came to an end at the 2021 World Table Tennis (WTT) Youth Star Contender as the duo suffered a 0-3 (3-11, 6-11, 7-11) defeat against Russian pair of Natalia Malinina and Elizabet Abraamian in the U-19 girls doubles final in Tunis, Tunisia.
Earlier the Indian pair made their way into the final after defeating Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova and Croatia’s Hana Arapovic 3-2 (8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9) in the last-4 match.
Besides the runner-up finish in doubles, Maharashtra girls Diya and Swastika, were also impressive in the U-19 singles as both finished their campaign in the last-4 stage after suffering identical 2-3 defeats in hard-fought encounters.
While the youth national champion Diya gave her all and made life tougher for Russian paddler Vlada Voronina before losing the thrilling contest by 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 7-11 scoreline, the current junior national champion Swastika too lost to Turkey’s Ece Harac 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 3-11, 6-11 in an intense 5-setter contest.
In the last-8 stage, Diya and Swastika notched-up convincing victories against Belarus’s Vera Volkava (11-9, 11-8, 11-9) and Russia’s Natalia (12-10, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8) respectively.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, it was the first international youth event where Indian players were seen in action. Apart from Diya and Swastika, Preyesh Raj Suresh, Payas Jain and Deepit Patil competed in the boys category. Preyesh exited in the U-15 quarter-finals while Payas and Deepit, who participated in U-19 category, could manage to reach last-16 and group stage respectively.