By Neha Aggarwal
Ranked 159 in the Under-18 girls, Varuni Jaiswal upstaged Chinese Taipei’s Su Pei-Ling in a match that was contested till the deciding set. She beat Su in a thrilling three games to four battle 11-5, 9-11, 11-8, 11-1,12-14, 8-11, 9-11 to clinch the Junior girls’ singles title at the Indian Junior and Cadet Open at Indore.
Su, currently ranked number 43 in Under-18 girls, started the match taking a 3-1 lead. Varuni explained, “I was having troubles in reading her spin. She kept attacking and did not give me enough chances to take initiatives. But after trailing 1-3, I changed my strategy. I just thought about being patient and returning the balls on the table.”
Playing for the motherland
Varuni levelled the game to 3-3 and in the decider, she lagged behind 2-7. What made her overcome this deficit?
“At 2-7 I just thought about my country. I was so close to the gold medal; I knew I will win irrespective of the score because I wanted to win this for India. I was determined to not let the opportunity slip off my hands in any way.” She overcame the deficit and wrapped up the set 11-9.
Her confidence, perseverance and the desire to win for the country helped her clinch her first gold medal at the world stage. Varuni made her debut in 2014 at the Thailand Junior and Cadet Open. The 15-year old is a right handed attacking player who hails from southern part of India. Post Indore, she is headed to Bangkok for the Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship from 16-21st September 2016.
Ishita Gupta: The confident one
Winning a gold medal at one’s debut international tournament is rare. 15-year old Ishita Gupta achieved this feat as she won the Cadet girls singles title at Indore. The Delhi girl beat Chinese Taipei’s Huang Yu-Jie in a full distance duel. Ishita, unranked for this tournament knocked out Huang who is currently at number 32 in Under-15 girls’ world rankings three games to two 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11,11-9.
Ishita uses long pimples on her backhand and reversed rubber on her forehand. Reminiscing on her victory Ishita rejoiced, “Its my first international level tournament and winning the gold is special. I got to play a lot of matches in the team event which made me confident. I knew I was ready for the singles.”
She aimed, she delivered. The future is bright for Ishita Gupta.