Cadet girls’ category champion, Sagarika Mukherjee of India, walked away with applause even in defeat, losing to Yang Yanmei of China in the junior girls’ final at the Reliance India junior & cadet table tennis championships. India No. 2 Sudharshu Grover upstaged top seed Abhishek Yadav for the junior boys’ title at the NSCI indoor complex.

The Siliguri girl, ranked 146 on the ITTF world junior list, struggled to assert herself early on against the higher ranked Chinese (66th), fought back in the fourth and fifth games, rewarded with bursts of applause from the stands. Yang won the big points in the seven game to sneak home 11-6, 11-2, 11-4, 14-16, 9-11, 5-11, 12-10.

Sudhanshu Grover had an easier time against Abhishek Yadav, winning 11-2, 16-14, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7.

Sagarika had outlasted another Chinese, Anqi Li, in the junior girls’ semifinal, winning 4-3 in the morning session and appeared equally determined in the evening session.

“I understood her game by the fourth and from then on was able to counter her. Yang is a fine player and her experience made the difference,” said the Indian, finding the Chinese getting into trouble on the backhand.

She won the cadet girls’ final earlier, defeating Akula Sreeja 3-2. Birdie Boro emerged the cadet boys champion, defeating Arjun Ghosh 3-0.

The results: finals: junior girls: Yang Yangmei (China) bt Sagarika Mukherjee (India) 4-3 (11-6, 11-2, 11-4, 14-16, 9-11, 5-11, 12-10).

Junior boys: Sudhanshu Grover (Ind) bt Abhishek Yadav (Ind) 4-1 (11-2, 16-14, 12-10, 4-11, 11-7).

Cadet girls: Sagarika bt Akula Sreeja (Ind) 3-2 (13-11, 11-13, 11-8, 17-19, 11-9).

Cadet boys: Birdie Boro (Ind) bt Arjun Ghosh (Ind) 3-0 (11-8, 11-6, 16-14).

Semifinals: Jr girls: Sagarika bt Li Anqi (Chn) 4-3 (11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9); Yang (Chn) bt Xiaotong Sun (Chn) 4-1 (11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5).

Jr boys: Abhishek bt Lalrin Puia 4-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-5, 11-8); Sudhanshu bt Utkarsh Gupta 4-0 (12-10, 12-10, 11-8, 11-3).

Cadet girls: Sagarika bt Srushti Haleangadi 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-6); Sreeja Akula bt C.R. Harshavardhini 3-2 (7-11, 5-11, 15-13, 11-6, 11-2).

Cadet boys: Arjun Ghosh bt Anirban Ghosh 3-1 (11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9); Birdie Boro bt Wang Yuhao (Chn) 3-1 (11-5, 11-13, 11-9, 11-7).

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