New Delhi: India's Archana Kamath Girish and Sreeja Akula bagged three bronze medals among themselves at Croatia Junior and Cadet Open Table Tennis Championships, held in Varazdin, Croatia.
Archana's effort included an individual bronze in cadet girls singles event played yesterday night.
Both Archana and Sreeja, who were part of the Indian squad at Indore s India Junior and Cadet Open just a week before, carried their good form to Croatia where 16 teams competed in the junior girls team event.
They were joined by Hungarian Kira Szabo as the third player to form a combined team and it registered and easy wins over Serbia and fourth-seed mixed team of Italy-Finland-Puerto Rico in group stage and hosts Croatia 3-1 in the quarterfinals, with Arching posting a solid win over higher-ranked Clara Cakol.
However, their march was halted in the semifinals by top-seeded Germans, who won 3-2. This was in spite of Archana winning all her singles, including in the knockout phases.
In the semifinals, Sreeja lost her tough opening singles to Luisa Saeger 2-11, 11-7, 11-13, 14-12, 8-11, but Archana beat Caroline Hajok 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6. Then Szabo went down 10-12, 7-11, 12-10, 2-11 to give the Germans a distinct advantage. Though Archana beat Luisa 9-11, 11-7, 9-11, 13, 11, 11-4 in her reverse singles, Sreeja could not overcome Caroline as the latter wrapped it up with a 11-9, 4-11, 11-7, 11-4 win.
In junior girls doubles, top-seeded pair Archana and Sreeja beat the Czech pair of Katerina Cechova and Nikita Petrovova 3-2 in the round of 16, then accounted for Andreea Hudusun and Arina Singeorzan of Romania 3-2 but in the semifinals local girl Clara, who joined hands with Tamara Pavcnik of Slovenia, exacted her revenge when the duo beat Archana and Sreeja 3-1 (6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-9) to stop their upward movement. The Indians had to satisfy themselves with the bronze medal.
The event was a tough with 57 contestants from 18 nations participating in it.
Third-seeded Archana again had to finish with a bronze medal in cadet girls singles where she lost to second seed Andreea Dragoman of Romania 7-11, 7-11, 3-11 in what was a one-sided semifinal affair. The Romanian finished runner-up, losing to Adriana Diaz in the final.
In qualifying rounds, Archana had beaten Austrian Selina Leitner 3-0, Slovak Zuzana Pekova 3-1 and Petra Bulic of Croatia 3-0 and in round of 16 she defeated 13th seed Katarina Strazar of Slovenia 3-0 and in the quarterfinals beat eighth seed Daria Azarenkova of Russia 3-0.