Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Anuja Thakur recovered from a stumble against Suniti Damani to qualify for the women's 8-ball pool knockout quarterfinals in the ONGC-Khar Gymkhana National pool championships.

One of four the Indian women representatives in pool at the Doha Asian Games, this PSPB cueist went down 1-3 to the Bengal player, but had done enough earlier against Indira Gowda for a place in the next phase.

Experienced Devendra Joshi ended up on the wrong side of a 5-2 scoreline against Harish Mirchandani. The PSPB cueist and National 8-ball men's winner awaits the verdict of the Mirchandani-Varun Raheja tie.

Chitra Magimairaj of Karnataka and 9-ball specialist Vidya Pillai of Tamil Nadu were the other favourites to have their say in the women's 8-ball event, conducted by Khar Gymkhana.

T.V. Sridevi, another Karnataka cueist, however went out of the competition after being unable to make headway against Anuja's sister Meenal Thakur from Maharashtra.

The eight qualifiers are M. Chitra, Heena Khandelwal, T. Anuja, D. Suniti, P. Vidya, Neeta Sanghvi, T. Meenal and Sangeeta Hemchand.

League results: Women's 8-ball: Group A: Heena Khandelwal (Mah) bt Bhanumati Mendon (Kar) 3-0; Chitra Magimairaj (Kar) bt Heena Khandelwal (Mah) 3-1; M. Chitra (Kar) bt M. Bhanumati (Kar) 3-0. Group B: Anuja Thakur (PSPB) bt Indira Gowda (Kar) 3-0; Suniti Damani (Ben) bt T. Anuja (PSPB) 3-1. Group C: Karishma Bhabha (Mah) bt Neeta Kothari (Ben) 3-2. Group D: Sangeeta Hemchand (Mah) bt Keerat Bhandal (Del) 3-0; Meenal Thakur (Mah) bt T.V. Sridevi (Kar) 3-0.

Men's 9-ball: Group J: Devendra Joshi (PSPB) bt Mudit Loyalka (Mah) 5-0, D. Joshi (PSPB) bt Varun Raheja (Del) 5-0, Harish Mirchandani (Mah) bt D. Joshi (PSPB) 5-2.

Group N: Ashok Shandilya (Rlys) bt Shyamal Sharma (Bih) 5-4. Group P: Karan Anand (Mah) bt Manjit Singh (Mah) 5-3, Karan Anand (Mah) bt Shahbaz Khan (Ben).

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