Muscat, March 14 (IANS) Young rising Indian paddler Jeet Chandra stunned World No. 2 Manav Thakkar to clinch the U-21 mens singles title at the 2020 ITTF Challenger Plus Oman Open in Muscat on Saturday.
World No. 18 Haryana boy Chandra outclassed compatriot Thakkar 11-6, 11-7, 13-11 in straight sets in the all Indian final that concluded as a one-sided affair in 24 minutes.
After losing the first two sets without much fight, Thakkar tried to make a comeback with a good display. However, despite some resistance from his opponent, a determined Chandra wrapped up the final set and match to clinch the gold medal while Thakkar had to settle for silver.
The U-21 men’s singles competition saw the dominance of Indian paddlers as Thakkar, Chandra, Manush Shah and Suravajjula Snehit made their way into the last-4 stage to make it an all Indian semi-finals. However, Thakkar overcame Snehit 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 14-12 while Chandra outperformed Shah 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 in straight sets to progress into the final.
Earlier, seasoned campaigner Achanta Sharath Kamal recovered well from the first set setback to register a 5-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 win over Belarusian Aliaksandr Khanin in the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals match. Another Indian paddler Harmeet Desai also made his way into the quarter-finals with a hard-fought 7-11, 11-13, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8 win against Egypt’s Omar Assar in a thrilling encounter which lasted for one hour and four minutes.
Meanwhile three Indian pairs also secured entry in the doubles semi-finals. While the duo of Sharath and Desai thrashed the Oman pair of Muhannad Al Balushi and Asad Alraisi 11-4, 11-3, 11-7 to enter the men’s doubles semi-finals, Gujarat boy Manush Shah partnered with his state teammate Manav Thakkar to outshine Aliaxandr Khanin and Pavel Platonov of Belarus 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9 in the last-8 encounter. The pair of Diya Chitale and Archana Kamath also secured a semi-finals berth in the women’s doubles category.