SPORT

Joshna lifts under-19 title

CHENNAI OCT. 31. The expected resistance did not come about and Joshna Chinappa of Tamil Nadu collected one more National title, this time at the expense of Radhika Kashyap of Madhya Pradesh after a tame under-19 girls' final of the National sub-junior/junior squash championship at the TNSRA courts on Thursday.

Being casual or not fully focussed used to be the points often held against this talented Chennai school girl. For once she could get away with anything for she was more than a match for Radhika. The Indore girl had played Joshna once before and lost badly. The result was no different today though she had walked onto the four-walled glass court, the gem among the five new courts, with confidence. But once the play began, the class of Joshna showed.

Except on the rare occasion when the drop to the fore court or tight close-to-the wall return deceived Joshna, Radhika could not stand up to the experience of the Chennai girl. Joshna won in double quick time her second under-19 National title. Already the national women's champion, what motivates Joshna in the junior competition is just the love of the game and fun to be around with other players. "Besides I like to win the prize'', she said chuckling.

Joshna's in fact has been the start of an amazing run of success for Tamil Nadu with each final of the remaining girls' event having a representation from the State. "This is the first time this has happened and all these children are from the India Cements Academy'', said an elated TNSRA President, Mr. N. Ramachandran. He was sure that the systematic training had begun to produce results.

In the boys' section too Tamil Nadu's impact is seen though not as pronounced as the girls' section. Sourav Goshal, easily the player of this championship is the player Tamil Nadu would look to for the under-19 title. He plays Delhi's Gaurav Nandrajog, whom he beat in a sensational come back in the last year's under-17 final. Both showed exceptionally good form to storm into the final this time. For Tamil Nadu's M. Parthiban, the dream run in the under-17 ended against top seed Vikas Jangra, who too trains in Chennai and represents Tamil Nadu.

Among the boys matches mention has to be made of Manek Mathur, who played a five-game energy sapper to down the second seed Naishadh Lalwani in a battle between two Mumbai school students.

The results: Girls: Under-19 (final): Joshna Chinappa (TN) bt Radhika Kashyap (MP) 9-1, 9-3, 9-1; Under-17 semifinals: Alisha Mashruwala (Mah) bt B. Aarthi (TN) 9-0, 9-3 9-1; Sonali Philip (TN) bt Natasha Lall (Mah) 9-7, 9-0, 9-5; Under-15 semifinals: Shruthi Reddy (TN) bt Madura Paranjape (Mah) 9-7, 9-2, 9-0; Shanaz Dastur (Mah) bt Shibani Philip (TN) 9-2, 7-9, 9-6, 6-9, 9-2; Under-13 semifinals: Nikita Emanuel (Mah) bt V. Anvesha (TN) 9-7, 5-9, 9-7, 9-6; Deepkia Palikal (TN) bt Srubhi Mishra (Raj) 9-4, 8-10, 9-4, 9-6; Under-11 semifinals: Harita Omprakash (TN) beat Shruti Dugar (TN) 10-9, 9-1, 9-2; Sachika Balwani (Mah) bt Sharaya Epur (TN) 9-4, 9-2, 9-4.

Boys: Under-19 (semifinals): Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Yashvardhan Singh (Del) 9-3, 9-1, 9-3; Gaurav Nandrajog (Del) bt Supreet Singh (Mah) 9-0, 9-0, 9-0; Under-17: Vikas Jangra (TN) bt M. Pathiban (TN) 6-9, 9-0, 9-6, 9-2; Prateek Patni (MP) bt Sarvesh Chauhan (Mah) 9-2, 9-1, 9-0; Under-15 semifinals: Sandeep Jangra (Mah) bt Vinayak Shetty (TN) 9-4, 9-2, 9-3; Manek Mathur (Mah) bt Naishadh Lalwani (Mah) 5-9, 9-4, 7-9, 9-4, 9-3; Under-13 semifinals: Vikram Malhotra (Mah) bt Anup Sharma (Mah) 9-0, 9-5, 9-0; Laxman Joshi (Mah) bt Prashant Kumar (TN) 9-3, 1-9, 9-8, 9-6.

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