North Bengal's Akash Nath and West Bengal's Koushani Nath won their maiden cadet boys' and girls' titles in the New India Assurance 73rd National sub-junior table tennis championship at the Rajiv Gandhi indoor stadium here on Monday.

Akash defeated teammate Z.K. Gogoi 4-1 for the boys' crown while Koushani staved off a strong challenge from Selena Deepthi 3-2 in the girls' final.

Akash struggled at the start but managed to take the first game 11-9. In the second game, Gogoi won a couple of points to go ahead at one stage. However, Akash stopped him at nine to take a 2-0 lead.

However, Gogoi took the next game 7-11 to put Akash on the back foot. The latter, however, recovered nicely as he took the next two in quick time to claim the title.

Akash was happy to clinch his maiden National crown but felt sorry for his friend. “Gogoi fought really well but the final game was where I sealed it in my favour,” he said.

‘Push' strategy

In the girls' summit clash, Koushani was uncomfortable with Selena's ‘push' strategy, which did not allow her to use the forehand top-spinners and backhand jabs for a good part of the first two games. But, once she assessed the situation and settled down, Koushani was in control.

The cadet boys' champion walked away with Rs. 18,000 while the girls' winner received Rs. 15,000.

The results:

Cadet boys' final: Akash Nath (NB) bt Z.K. Gogoi (NB) 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-4, 11-7; Semifinals: Akash bt S.F.R. Snehit (AP) 11-5, 11-3, 11-4, 11-5; Gogoi bt Sarthak Seth (UP) 11-5, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8; Quarterfinals: Akash bt Ashwin Subramanian (Mah-A) 11-5, 11-9, 11-4; Snehit bt Parth Virmani (Dli) 2-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8; Gogoi bt Jeet Chandra (WB) 6-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6; Sarathak bt Manav Thakkar (Guj) 8-11, 11-7, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9.

Cadet girls' final: Koushani Nath (WB) bt S. Selena Deepthi (TN) 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-2.

Semifinals: Koushani bt Priyanka Pareek (Raj) 4-11, 13-11, 11-5, 14-12, 11-6; Selena bt Varuni Jaiswal (AP) 11-7, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9; Quarterfinals: Koushani bt Shrushti Haleangadi (Mah-A) 12-10, 11-9, 11-8; Priyanka bt Ritika Kundu (Jkd) 6-11, 11-9, 14-16, 11-7, 14-12; Selena bt Urmila Mense (Goa) 11-6, 11-3, 11-6; Varuni bt Moumita Dutta (WB) 13-11, 11-7, 11-6.

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