by Ian Marshall, Editor
Most notably it will be the seventh time that India has played host, the most popular destination for the tournament; next in line is Singapore and Scotland, each fulfilling the role of organiser on three occasions.
India first staged the tournament in 1982 in Bombay, followed by 1994 in Hyderabad and 2001 in New Delhi. In 2007, Jaipur was the destination before most recently in 2013, once again the home was New Delhi, later in 2015 when Surat bid welcome.
The destination for July follows the recent successful staging of the 80th Indian National Championships by the Odisha State Table Tennis Association in Cuttack, an event in which Sharath Kamal Achanta and Archana Girish Kamath won the respective men’s singles and women’s singles titles.
Significantly for Sharath Kamal Achanta it was success for the ninth time; thus he breaks the record of Kamlesh Mehta who won on eight occasions.
After having accounted for Arjun Ghosh (11-3, 12-10, 11-5, 12-10) and Manav Vikash Thakkar (8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6); by the very narrowest of margins, Sharath Kamal Achanta overcame Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (11-13, 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 14-12) to seal the title.
Hard fought success for Sharath Kamal Achanta, it was the same for Archana Girish Kamath but slightly less dramatic. She secured the title at the final expense of Sinha Roy Krittwika (12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7). Early, at the quarter-final stage she had ousted Sagarika Mukherjee (11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8), prior to recording a semi-final success in opposition to Manika Batra (11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8).
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles event it was success for Arjun Ghosh and Ronit Bhanja at the final expense of Anirban Ghosh and Anirban Nandi (14-12, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10); in the women’s doubles Sreeja Akula and Nikhat Banu beat Anannya Basak and Srushi Haleangadi to claim the title (11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7), whilst in the mixed doubles event it was gold for Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra. At the final hurdle they accounted for Manav Vikash Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath (11-9, 12-10, 10-12, 11-6).
Success for Sharath Kamal Achanta on the concluding day of play meant he collected three titles. Earlier alongside Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Amalraj Anthony, representing PSPB, the trio had won the men’s team title accounting for the Gujurat combination of Harmeet Desai, Hingorani Ishaan and Manush Shah by three matches to two in the final.
Gold for PSPB in the men’s team event, in the counterpart women’s team competition it was silver. The outfit formed by Manika Batra, Mouma Das and Madhurika Patkar experienced a three-one defeat in the final when facing West Bengal’s Sinha Roy Krittwika, Ayhika Mukherjee and Mousumi Paul.
2019 Indian National Championships: Full Results & Reports