Indian junior paddlers earn spots for Asian Youth Championships

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In the U-19 team competition of the South Asian Youth Table Tennis Championship on Monday at the Dorjee Khandu Indoor Stadium in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian ladies once again demonstrated their dominance in the area by leading the single-group chart and winning gold.

India defeated Sri Lanka 3-0 in their last round-robin game to win the gold medal and secure their spot in Doha for the Asian Youth Championships in July. The females from Sri Lanka will be travelling to Doha with the Indians.  Following Lanka in that order, the Maldives and Nepal may be content with their bronze medals.

Yashaswini Ghorpade, Suhana Saini, Taneesha Kotecha, and Jennifer Varghese played for the Indian U-19 team, which defeated four of its opponents in the five-team group by a score of 3-0. 

However, Nepal defeated Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in a three-way tie in the U-19 boys event to earn gold and secure their place in Doha. By a few decimal places, Sri Lanka won the right to accompany Nepal to Qatar over Bangladesh. Bronze was the campaign's final placing for Bangladesh and the Maldives. 

Similar to how they did in the U-15 boys division, the Indians dominated the single-group team events and won the gold medal. They performed excellently, defeating their opponents in each of the four games they had to play by an equal score of 3-0.

P.B. Abhinand, Priyanuj Bhattacharya, and Punit Biswas made up the team. While Bangladesh and the Maldives had to settle for bronze medals, the Sri Lankans were awarded silver.  The unavoidable occurred in the U-15 girls division as well. The Indians, under the leadership of Jennifer Varghese, Sayanika Maji, and Avisha Karmakar, maintained dominance over their nearby rivals by sweeping them in every match, 3-0. 

Silver medalist Nepal and bronze medalists Maldives and Sri Lanka followed them on the podium. India began their streak of gold medals with three team medals. On the second day of the competition, Nepal won the fourth gold that was up for grabs.  The Indian U-19 boys will compete in the individual events starting on Tuesday after already qualifying thanks to their top-four team result at the Asian Juniors in Laos last year.

(WIth PTI inputs)

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