WTT Youth Star Contender: Diya, Swastika finish runners-up

Indian paddlers Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh’s splendid run came to an end at the 2021 World Table Tennis (WTT) Youth Star Contender on Monday.

The duo suffered a 0-3 (3-11, 6-11, 7-11) defeat against Russian pair of Natalia Malinina and Elizabet Abraamian in the U-19 girls doubles final in Tunis, Tunisia.

The young Indian pair had entered the final after defeating Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova and Croatia’s Hana Arapovic 3-2 (8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-9) in the last-4 match.

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Besides the runner-up finish in doubles, the girls from Maharashtra were also impressive in the U-19 singles. Both finished their campaign in the last-4 stage after suffering identical 2-3 defeats in hard-fought encounters.

While the youth national champion Diya made life tougher for Russian paddler Vlada Voronina before losing the thrilling contest by 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 7-11 scoreline, the current junior national champion Swastika too lost to Turkey’s Ece Harac 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 3-11, 6-11 in an intense 5-setter contest.

In the last-8 stage, Diya and Swastika notched-up convincing victories against Belarus’s Vera Volkava (11-9, 11-8, 11-9) and Russia’s Natalia (12-10, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8) respectively.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak, it was the first international youth event where Indian players were seen in action.

Apart from Diya and Swastika, Preyesh Raj Suresh, Payas Jain and Deepit Patil competed in the boys category.

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