by Simon Daish
Showcasing promising form, having won the Under 15 Girls’ Singles title at last month’s WTT Youth Contender events in Tunis and Otocec, Suhana Saini couldn’t have asked for a better start in Muscat.
Chalking up two 3-0 victories in the group stage, Saini continued her perfect opening as she beat Iran’s Baran Arjmand (11-7, 11-8, 11-5) and India’s Sayali Rajesh Wani (11-9, 11-5, 11-7) in straight games. Saini met another Indian teammate at the final hurdle, seeing off Under 13 champion Hansini Mathan Rajan 3-1 (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-8) to lift her third WTT Youth Series trophy.
“This is my third WTT Under 15 Girls’ Singles title after Tunisia and Slovenia. It feels great to be winning, and I enjoyed the atmosphere. I would like to thank the Oman Table Tennis Federation. The venue is always awesome. This is my third time in Oman, and my first international title was also won here, so it’s a special place for me. The food, hotel and accommodation are great, and that has helped me. I would also like to thank my mother and coach, who are here with me; they helped me a lot during the matches. Lastly, I would like to thank my federation and ITTF for organising the training camp here in Oman, which has helped me improve a lot,” said Suhana Saini
Crowned Under 17 Girls’ Singles champion on day four, Yashaswini Deepak Ghorpade followed up with another title win on the final day in Muscat as she held the Under 19 trophy aloft.
Accounting for Indian colleague Lakshita Narang (11-8, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7) and Lebanon’s Mariam El Habech (11-3, 14-12, 12-10), Ghorpade waltzed into the semi-finals with little trouble. Another compatriot, Anargya Manjunath proved unable to shake Ghorpade off course (13-11, 11-9, 11-6), while Uzbekistan’s Markhabo Magdieva once again fell victim to Ghorpade at the final hurdle in a repeat outcome of the Under 17 title showdown (11-6, 11-8, 11-4).
“I felt good after yesterday’s win, I was confident, and I played well. The theme of WTT events is very well organised, and all the staff are kind. It is a nice event, and it is very nice for younger generations to see events being organised to support us in our development. Next, I hope to perform well in India’s National Championships, beat the world’s best-ranked players, and try to be in the table tennis limelight,” said Yashaswini Deepak Ghorpade
Arujan Kamalova also enjoyed a successful day at Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex, finishing top of the class in the Under 11 Girls’ Singles event. Competing in a group of three, Kamalova made the best possible start to her campaign as she outclassed fellow Kazakh player Dilyora Davletova 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-6). Kamalova secured the top spot soon after, defeating Lebanon’s Bissan Chiri in her second fixture (11-4, 11-2, 11-7).
In attendance on the final day of play was His Highness Sayyid Fatik bin Fahar al-Said, who carried out the Girls’ Singles trophy presentation in his official capacity as the special envoy of the Sultan of Oman.
For event details of WTT Youth Contender Muscat, click here.