by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Arguably a surprise result, most certainly it was a closely fought contest, the fixture needing the full five matches to determine the outcome. Notably, three of the five matches required the full five games, all ending in favour of India ‘B’.
Furthermore the victory required somewhat of a recovery. Snehit Survajjula gave India ‘B’ the ideal start by beating Jeet Chandra (11-6, 7-11, 11-6, 2-11, 11-8) before Manav Vikash Thakkar accounted for Parth Virmani (11-6, 11-4, 11-9) and Manush Utpalbhai Shah overcame Anukram Jain (7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 12-10).
The momentum in favour of India ‘A’, Snehit Survajjula returned to the action. He beat Manav Vikash Thakkar (11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-5), prior to Parth Virmani defeating Jeet Chandra (5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-6) to secure the title for India ‘B’.
Earlier in the proceedings with no changes to the selection, India ‘B’ had recorded a three-one quarter-final success against the outfit comprising Portugal’s Vitor Amorin and José Pedro Francisco, who joined forces with Iran’s Amin Ahmadian. A semi-final place booked, the same margin of victory was posted in opposition to the trio comprising Nikhil Kumar and Victor Liu of the United States who allied with Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun.
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw, in the quarter-finals, India ‘A’ had been given a severe test by the Slovakian outfit formed by Jakub Zelinka, Stefan Petko and Daniel Orac. A three-two win was the end result with Manav Vikash Thakkar the backbone of success. He beat both Stefan Petko (6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7) and Jakub Zelinka (11-6, 11-6, 11-9).
A tough quarter-final negotiated, at the semi-final stage a three-one win was secured against the Chinese Taipei trio formed by Kao Min-Chi, Feng Yi-Hsin and Tai Min-Chi, the winners the previous week in Croatia.
Gold in Varazdin, in Otocec for Chinese Taipei, it was bronze; gold and silver belonged to India.