Soumyajit's big day

Raipur: India's No. 1 player Soumyajit Ghosh on Saturday became the youngest national champion after he defeated six-time winner Achanta Sharath Kamal in the summit clash of the 74th National Table Tennis Championships here.

The 19-year-old Soumyajit overcame a tough challenge from Sharath Kamal, world No. 70, and won the final 4-2 (3-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-7) to bag the Maharaja Pitampura Cup along with a prize money of Rs 2.30 lakh.

K Shamini avenged her last year's loss with a 14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8 victory over Poulami Ghatak in the final to win the women's title.

The men's final was a gripping affair with Soumyajit showing great determination and class as he came back from 1-2 down to beat the experienced Sharath.

The 30-year-old Sharath, who lost to A Amalraj in the finals last year, made several unforced errors, paving the way for Soumyajit's recovery after he was trailing 1-4 in the crucial sixth set.

In the women's final, Shamini scored a comfortable win over Poulami to grab a prize money of Rs 1.45 lakh along with the Travancore Cup.

Shamini was a bit shaky initially and was straightaway down 3-5. But soon, she caught up with Poulami at 8-8, and went on to win the first set 14-12 after three deuces.

Poulami, however, did manage to win one set back after losing the first two. But the 25-year-old Shamini did not lose her grip over the match and shut out the challenge to win the final 4-1.

In the men's doubles category, Sourav Chakraborty and G Sathiyan of PSPB beat Aman Balgu and Noel Pinto (Railways) 11-5, 11-5, 12-10 to go in the final.

PSPB failed to repeat their men's double feat as the pair of Madhurika Patkar and Pooja Sahasrabudhe went down fighting to Andhra's K Spoorthy and Nikhat Banu 14-12, 3-11, 11-7, 11-5 in the women's doubles.

Delhi's Utkarsh Gupta and Manika Batra emerged winners in the mixed doubles category as they beat Gujarat's Harmeet Desai and Frenaz Chipia 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 in the final.


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