Mumbai: India's Ayhika Mukherkee won both her junior girls group matches against Sri Lankan and North Korean rivals as the individual events of the 20th Reliance Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships commenced today after the conclusion of the team events last night.
Ayhika defeated Sri Lankan Ruvini Kannangara 3-1 and North Korean Ri Yong Hae 3-0 at the NSCI's Sardar Patel Stadium here. She, however, has to play South Korean Lee Seul tomorrow in the third round to know her fate of making it to the main draw.
Sagarika Mukherjee and Riti Shankar have won a match each but it will be tough for them to win their next matches against fancied opponents from China and Japan. Otherwise, it was almost curtains for Sreeja and Oishwarya Deb who lost their first matches and face bigger tests in round 2.
The first stage group matches in both the Junior Boys and Junior Girls singles got underway with 16 and 14 groups, respectively. With one player from each group advancing to the next stage, the main draw, things will get tougher from tomorrow.
Meanwhile the fighting qualities of Hong Kong's pair apart, percentage play also came to the fore in the junior mixed doubles event. Hong Kong's Ho Kwan Kit and Doo Hoi Kem, who combined well with her partner, won their semifinal encounter 3-0 against Chinese Taipei's Liao Cheng-Tiang and Huang Yu-Chiao without much ado. The duo will now take on in the final another pair from Chinese Taipei's Sun Chia-Hung and Chiu Ssu-Hua, which defeated North Koreans Kim Ok Chan and Kim Jinju 3-1 in the other semifinals. The final will be played tomorrow.
In the other quarterfinals, the Chinese pair of Zhou Qihao and Chen Ke failed to match and sustain the pace of Taipei?s duo of Liao Cheng-Ting and Huang Yu-Chiao and went down in straight gains of 11-8, 11-4, 11-9.