Jennifer, Ikshika are State champs
   Date :20-Nov-2023

Jennifer, Ikshika 
Sports Reporter
CITY’S international paddler Jennifer Varghese won the women’s singles title, finished with bronze in U-19 and U-17 singles while another Nagpur girl Ikshika Umate emerged U-15 champion and ended runner-up in U-17 singles in the 54th Inter-District & 85th State Table Tennis Championship that concluded at Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, Mahalunge-Balewadi, Pune on Sunday. The event was being organised by Poona District Table Tennis Association under the aegis of Maharashtra State Table Tennis Association. Jennifer, who had stunned top seed in the pre-quarters on Saturday, was stretched to the limit by Nashik’s tenth seed Sayali Wani in the women’s singles final.
After taking the first game, Jennifer lost three in a row but bounced back superbly to pocket the next three games and the State title. The scores read 11-6, 4-11, 7-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-8. In the semi-final, Jennifer beat TST’s 12th seed Sampada Bhiwandkar in six games 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-1 Jennifer lost her U-19 and U-17 semi-finals to finish third in both the events. In girls Under-19 semis, 7th seed Sayali defeated 11th seed Jennifer 12-10, 11-9, 11-6.
In girls Under-17 last-four match, top seed Divyanshi Bhowmick of TST beat 20th seed Jennifer 9-11, 11-8, 15-13, 8-11, 13-11. Another upcoming city talent Ikshikaoutclassed national champion Riana Bhoota 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 9-11, 13-11 in Under-15 girls singles final. Earlier in semis, Ikshika beat Kavya Bhatt of Thane 11-6, 11-9, 11-6. Ikshika made it to the U-17 singles final but lost to top seed Divyanshi Bhowmick of TST 11-5, 11-7, 11-5. She beat Thane’s 11th seed Riana Bhoota in semis 6-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9. In the tournament, Nagpur district men’s team got bronze while Under-17 n Under-19 girls teams also bagged bronze medals. Jennifer thanked coach Ujjwal who guided her when she was 3-1 down and won 4-3. She also thanked Adv Ashutosh Potnis, Secretary NDTTA, who gave away the prizes, for his support.