National TT Championship: Mixed results for Odisha in the opening day

Cuttack: It was a mixed day for the Odisha contingent on the opening day of the ongoing 80th National Table Tennis Championship at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Cuttack on Friday.

While the women’s team started off their campaign with a win against Meghalaya, the men’s team lost both their matches and crashed out of the competition.

Although the women’s team beat Meghalaya by 3-1 in their first match, it lost to Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSBP) by 0-3 in the second match. On the other hand the men’s team suffered a 3-0 thrashing by Haryana in the first match and later went down to Chandigarh by 2-3 despite giving a tough fight.

However both PSPB and Haryana kicked off their campaign with wins to secure a place in the pre-quarterfinals.

It was easy going for the PSPB men who thrashed both Maharashtra B and Bihar with 3-0 scoreline in the first two rounds from group A to enter the next round.

Similarly 2018 Commonwealth games gold medalist Manika Batra led PSPB’s charge in women’s affair, beating Uttarakhand 3-0 in their first encounter.

“It is a very good tournament and the competition here is very tough. I have prepared well for the championship and will give my best here” said Manika.

Reportedly, Odisha Sports and Youth Services Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera inaugurated the Championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in the silver city yesterday.

“The State Government’s commitment is towards development and promotion of sports in Odisha. It has signed an MOU last month to construct high performance academy. Similarly table tennis will be promoted and several steps would be taken in this regard,” the minister during the event.

As many as 35 teams, including 550 players from different parts of country and Odisha are participating in the championship organised with the joint coordination of State’s Sports department and Odisha State Table Tennis Association (OSTTA).

The participants who perform well in this championship will be groomed for the upcoming International tournaments and the Olympics, sources said.