Jammu, The paddlers from twin Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh failed to impress the spectators on the opening day of the 84th UTT Inter-State National Table Tennis Championships commenced at the Gymnasium Hall of Jammu University on Monday.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, declared open the Championship.
However, on the first day, the women’s team from host Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in Group A, lost to Goa 1-3 in Round-1 and in the Round-2, RBI beat J&K.
In the men’s team section, UT of Ladakh was defeated by TTFI in Group C (Round-1) whereas in Group-F, (Round-1), Telangana beat Ladakh 3-0 in the women’s team.
Meanwhile unseeded Assam upset the applecart of Uttar Pradesh with a 3-2 verdict in the first-round match of the Group H encounter.
The UP team which finished a quarterfinalist in the last edition in Meghalaya, were a little upset when pushed to the eighth position in seeding during the open draw held yesterday, failed to live up to expectations and proved the seeding more than justified.
UP had three experienced players in their ranks, led by Abhishek Yadav, Divyansh Srivastava and Sarth Mishra, who could have done justice to their selection and made a bright beginning to the campaign here.
However, Shankab Barua did the star turn for Assam, winning both his singles, especially after trailing 1-2 against Divyansh and single-handedly plotting the downfall of UP.
With UP leading 2-1, nobody would have given a grain of chance to Assam. But, surprisingly, Shankab turned the tables on the experienced Abhishek as the UP left-hander found himself at the receiving end when the Assam lad beat him 12-10, 11-6, 11-9 to restore parity and take the issue to the decider.
As for the women’s team events, the group leaders seemed fully entrenched with their easy triumphs over their first-round opponents, thus ensuring their passage into the knockout stage.
The pre-quarterfinals will be played on Tuesday after the completion of league engagements.
Addressing the gathering earlier including a galaxy of top stars from across the country, Advisor Bhatnagar highlighted that Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a remarkable transformation in the sports ecosystem since the past three years.
This, he said, reflects the story of growth and development here with a sea of opportunities.
He added that the UT government is giving prime focus to upgrading sports infrastructure here and in the last three years world class sports infrastructure has been established so that the youth of J&K excel in sports.
“From Panchayat level to UT level, sports facilities are being established across the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir so that youth get the best training and exposure to play and perform at National and International events”, Advisor maintained.
Advisor further remarked that Jammu and Kashmir is emerging as the powerhouse of sports and players of national and international repute are being produced here. He highlighted that J&K is emerging as a preferred location for organizing National and International sports events and the successful culmination of Gulmarg Winter Games is witness to it.
The Advisor appreciated the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) for allotting this big event to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. He assured every help and support from the government of J&K to all the participants and other officials in every respect who have come from across the country.
He also appreciated J&K table tennis association for their tireless efforts in organizing such a mega event.
Secretary Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez, while speaking on the occasion, highlighted broad contours of the tournament and appreciated TTFI for reposing faith in J&K table tennis association in organizing such a big event.
He also asked for organizing an International level championship in UT of Jammu and Kashmir which not only will boost the game but also give a message of love from this place to the entire world.
Chairperson of Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), Vita Dani, in her speech, assured the UTT will continue to promote the table tennis game in the country.
Secretary TTFI, Kamlesh Mehta in his address welcomed the participants and also lauded J&K Table Tennis Association for organising this event.
Pertinent to mention, the event was last held in J&K 25 years ago and in the current championship more than 900 players are participating in this mega event which included 34 teams of men and 32 women teams from all over the country.
Other Results (Available):
Group A: Round 1: PSPB bt Andhra Pradesh 3-0, Group B: Round 1: Punjab bt Sikkim 3-0; RSPB bt Nagaland 3-0, Group C: Round 1: Delhi bt Kerala 3-0, Group D: Round 1: Haryana bt Meghalaya 3-0; Uttarakhand bt Chhattisgarh 3-1. Group E: Round 1: West Bengal bt Arunachal Pradesh 3-0, Group F: Round 1: MP bt Andaman & Nicobar 3-0; Telangana bt Bihar 3-0; Karnataka bt J&K 3-1, Group G: Round 1: Gujarat bt Himachal Pradesh 3-0; Maharashtra bt Himachal Pradesh 3-0; Gujarat bt Daman and Diu 3-0; Round 2: Maharashtra bt Jharkhand 3-0, Group H: Round 1: Tamil Nadu bt Odisha 3-0; Assam bt UP 3-2. Round 2: UP bt Chandigarh 3-0.
Group A: Round 1: RBI bt TTFI 1 3-0, Group B: Round 1: PSPB bt UP 3-0; Kerala bt Punjab 3-1. Round 2: PSPB bt Punjab 3-0; Kerala bt UP 3-0, Group C: Round 1: West Bengal bt Nagaland 3-0; Chandigarh bt Meghalaya 3-0. Round 2: Chandigarh bt Nagaland 3-0, Group D: Round 1: Maharashtra bt Himachal Pradesh 3-0. Round 2: Maharashtra bt Arunachal 3-0, Group E: Round 1: Andhra Pradesh bt Arunachal Pradesh 3-0; Assam bt Chhattisgarh 3-1; MP bt Bihar 3-0; Round 2: Chhattisgarh bt Bihar 3-0, Group G: Round 1: Haryana bt Manipur 3-0; Gujarat bt Jharkhand 3-0, Group H: Round 1: Tamil Nadu bt Odisha 3-0; Karnataka bt Uttarakhand 3-0. Round 2: Tamil Nadu bt Daman & Diu 3-0; Karnataka bt Odisha 3-1.