Andhra Pradesh won a national title in table tennis after a gap of four decades when Nikhat Banu and Karnam Spoorthy won the women’s doubles title at the Senior National Table Tennis championship in Raipur on Saturday.
A facile win
The Andhra duo defeated Pooja and Madhurika Patkar (Petroleum Sports Promotion Board) by registering a facile win.
The last time a woman player won the senior national title was Fayida Sultana (singles) in the late ’60s, according to S.M. Sultan, general secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Table Tennis Association.
Interestingly, both these proud champions were actually competing in a seniors event which is a grade higher above their own age group.
Nineteen-year-old Nikhat is coached by M. Venugopal at Gujarati Seva Mandal, while Spoorthy is competing in the juniors categories now.
“Given this backdrop, it is a wonderful achievement. They surprised us by winning the title,” said Mr. Sultan.
Fifteen-year-old Spoorthy, a student of Sri Gayathri College in Vijayawada, is clearly over the moon delighted at the latest win.
“It is always a special feeling to win the senior national title.
“We will cherish this moment for a long time to come,” said the young champion in the company of her Hyderabad teammate Nikhat.