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RBI and PSPB paddlers reign supreme

The Reserve Bank of India women’s squad that took the honours in the UTT-84th senior National and Inter-State table tennis championships in Jammu on Thursday, March 23.

The Reserve Bank of India women’s squad that took the honours in the UTT-84th senior National and Inter-State table tennis championships in Jammu on Thursday, March 23.
| Photo Credit: K. Keerthivasan

The victorious PSPB men’s squad in the UTT-84th senior National and Inter-State table tennis championships in Jammu on March 23.

The victorious PSPB men’s squad in the UTT-84th senior National and Inter-State table tennis championships in Jammu on March 23.
| Photo Credit:
K. Keerthivasan

Banking on Diya Chitale’s brilliance, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) scripted a thrilling 3-2 win over Tamil Nadu in the women’s final of the UTT-84th senior National and Inter-State table tennis championships here on Thursday.

As expected, Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) men won a 26th title with a 3-1 victory over Railways.

After winning the first tie, Diya returned to win the crucial fifth rubber against Kowshika to enable her team to bag the crown.

The TN women were on a high after the upset win over defending champion PSPB the other day. But even RBI wouldn’t have thought that TN would give such a tough fight especially after losing the first two matches in the summit clash.

Diya put it across TN’s S. Yashini in five games while Ayhika Mukherjee edged past Kowshika as RBI took a 2-0 lead.

But 17-year-old B. Kavyasree, playing with great composure and even better aggression, outwitted a struggling Sreeja Akula in four games in the crucial third rubber to keep TN in the fray. Yashini, who had not lost a match before the final, returned to beat Ayhika to force the contest to the decider.

The fifth match was a cliffhanger. Kowshika, with her mix of backhand blocks and forehand topspin, and Diya, in possession of an excellent forehand topspin, put the sparse audience on tenterhooks before the latter emerged triumphant.

TN had last won the title in 1991-92 in Mumbai and finished runner-up in Jamshedpur in ‘94.

The results (finals): Men: PSPB bt Railways 3-1 (Manav Thakkar bt Ronit Bhanja 11-5, 11-9, 11-8; G. Sathiyan bt Anirban Ghosh 11-5, 11-9, 11-4; Sanil Shetty lost to Akash Pal 2-11, 15-13, 9-11, 12-10,8-11; Sathiyan bt Ronit 11-7, 11-5, 12-10).

Women: RBI bt TN 3-2 (Diya Chitale bt S. Yashini 11-4, 3-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-7; Ayhika Mukherjee bt V. Kowshika 11-6, 20-18, 11-8; Sreeja Akula lost to B. Kavyasree 8-11, 11-8, 11-13, 8-11; Ayhika lost to Yashini 8-11, 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 7-11; Diya bt Kowshika 13-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6).

#RBI #PSPB #paddlers #reign #supreme

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