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  Sr Natl TT: Mixed luck for hosts Odisha on Day-One
CUTTACK,04 Jan 2019 (Team Orisports)

Hosts Odisha experienced mixed luck in team events of the 80th Senior National & Inter-State Table Tennis Championships, which began at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here today. Odisha women made a winning start, defeating Meghalaya 3-1, but were thrashed by star-studded Petroleum Sports Promotion Borad (PSPB) 3-0 in the next round. Odisha men lost to Haryana 0-3 in their opening round.

Organised by Odisha State Table Tennis Association (OSTTA) with the support of Department of Sports & Youth Services (DSYS), Government Odisha, the championships was inaugurated by Odisha Sports Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera.


OSTTA Chairman Emeritus and former Chief Secretary D P Bagchi; Additional Chief Secretary, MSME Department and OSTTA president L N Gupta; IDCO CMD and OSTTA senior vice-president Sanjay Kumar Singh; DSYS Commissioner-cum-Secretary Vishal Dev; Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) advisor Dhanraj Choudhary and OSTTA secretary Rabindra Kumar Parida were present on the occasion.

The Sports Minister, while congratulating the participants, spoke about how the state was becoming the hub of sports in the county, having opened several high-performance centres for hockey, badminton, weightlifting and football and hosted top-notch events like the Asian Athletics Championships, World Hockey League and the Hockey World Cup recently.

He also shared his vision on grassroots development of Table Tennis sport in the State with the introduction of the sport and its related infrastructure at the district and block levels including setting up of a High Performance Academy of Table Tennis in the state.

The ceremony opened to a march past of the participants led by the ceremonial police band. The six-day table tennis extravaganza is being held in Odisha after a gap of 18 years, with the last one being held in 2001. The championships is the largest so far with around 630 players from 37 teams from all over the country in action.

The event has featured table tennis icons and players who have made India proud in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Guangzhou Asian Games. They include Manika Batra (first Indian woman to win CWG Gold in a women’s singles event and also the first Indian to win Breakthrough of the Year award by ITTF), Mouma Das (Arjuna awardee/Olympian), Sutirtha Mukherjee (India No 1), Archana Kamath (India No 2), Madhurika Patkar, Divya Deshpande, Ankita Das (Olympian), Pooja Sahasrabudhe (All top-10 ranked players).

In the men’s event, the star attraction will be Gold Coast CWG Gold medallists Achanta Sharath Kamal (world rank-30), G Sathiyan (world rank–31), Harmeet Desai, Anthony Amalraj, Sanil Shetty and Manav Thakkar (all of them are within top 100 in world ranking). ‘Olly,’ which has been the mascot of all major sporting events in Odisha, was star attraction at the venue during the inaugural ceremony.

Asif Haque, Bikash Singh, Snehamoy Mallick, M Eshwar Rao, Krishan Prusty, D Debadutta Mohanty, Dishant Parida, Md Yunus, K Karthik, Md Azhar.
WOMEN: Mayuri Chatterjee, Poushali Ghatak, Samartha Prusty, Ankita Senapati.
Coach: Raj S Subramaniam; Manager: Krishna Kant.

Haryana beat Odisha 3-0. Jubin Kumar bt Bikash Kumar Singh 11-5, 11-3, 11-2. Sourav Saha bt Asif Haque 2-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7. Jeet Chandra bt Snehamoy Mallick 11-7, 11-9, 11-7, 11-7.
WOMEN: Odisha beat Meghalaya 3-2. PSPB beat Odisha 3-0.
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TOP: Star woman paddler Manika Batra (2nd from L) with guests of the opening ceremony in Cuttack on Jan 4, 2019.
RIGHT: Players and support staff of hosts Odisha team in Cuttack on Jan 3, 2019.


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