Sathiyan, Poulomi win singles titles

New Delhi: Petroleum Sports Promotion Board`s (PSPB) G. Sathiyan and Poulomi Ghatak emerged champions in the men`s and women`s singles, respectively, in the AAI 44th Inter-Institutional Table Tennis Championships at the Thyagraj Stadium here Friday.

Sathiyan was in a rampaging form and defeated PSPB colleague and defending champion Soumyajit Ghosh 11-1, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9 in the final.

At 10-9 serving for the championship point, Sathiyan must have had his heart in his mouth. Luckily, the rally yielded him the last point which came off a backhand flick. It was very badly needed as Sathiyan had goofed it up in the previous game, as he missed two championships points while allowing Ghosh save six.

"A great victory, coming after a long time," said Sathiyan who also bagged two more crowns here -- men`s doubles with Sourav Saha and also the team title three days ago. "I was really delighted to keep my attacking posture right through. Credit to my coach S. Raman (former national champion)," he added.

In the final game, Sathiyan went ahead 2-1 before letting Ghosh stage a comeback in the fifth game. Leading comfortably at 9-5 he let the chance go by as Ghosh, slowly but surely, closed in on to narrow down the margin to 2-3. But in the decider, Sathiyan surged ahead with a 9-2 lead, only to make a few errors at the net raising doubts about his ability to hold on a bigger stage. But in the end, he came calm and clean to win the crown and with it the winner`s cheque for Rs.75,000.

Similarly, fit-again former national champion Poulomi demonstrated that all was well with her play to defeat young Pooja Sahasrabudhe in the women`s singles final 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8. Poulomi had defeated second-seed Madhurika Patkar in the semi-final. Poulomi`s efforts fetched her Rs.58,000.

Poulomi was slow to begin but picked up steam midway, winning one and losing one. She made several errors in the third and fourth game but managed to win the last to go 3-1 up. Nevertheless, the error-prone Pooja put up a semblance of fight in the fifth to win it 11-8. But that was all she could do as the veteran Poulomi won the next rather easily to claim the title.

For hosts Airports Authority of India (AAI), a consolation title came in the shape of women`s doubles win as Nikhat Bhanu and Kritwikka Sinha Roy combined well against the PSPB pair of Reeth Rishya and Narasimha Priya to win 3-0. The men`s doubles title went to G. Sathiyan and Sourav Saha who beat Ghosh and Harmeet Desai 3-0.

Men (Final): G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Soumyajit Ghosh (PSPB) 4-2 (11-1, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9); Semifinals: Soumyajit Ghosh (PSPB) bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 4-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-7, 12-10), G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Sarthak Gandhi (FCI) 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7)

Doubles (Final): G. Sathiyan/Sourav Saha (PSPB) bt Soumyajit Ghosh/Harmeet Desai (PSPB) 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-9)

Women (Final): Poulomi Ghatak (PSPB) bt Pooja Sahasrabudhe (PSPB) 4-2 (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8); Semifinals: Pooja Sahasrabudhe (PSPB) bt Mousumi Paul (PSPB) 4-2 (11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-3, 14-12, 11-6), Poulomi Ghatak (PSPB) bt Madhurika Patkar (RSPB) 4-3 (2-11, 12-10, 11-13, 5-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-3)

Doubles (Final): Nikhat Bhanu/Kritwikka Sinha Roy (AAI) bt Reeth Rishya/Narasimha Priya (PSPB) 3-0 (1107, 11-8, 11-9)

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