Hyderabad: Sixteen-year old S Fidel R Snehit created history as he became the first player to win a medal for Telangana State in Junior National championship in the last 25 years when he bagged the bronze medal in the junior boys section of the the Youth National table tennis championship in Vadodara, Gujarat on Wednesday.
Ranked India No. 7, Fidel recorded a 4-3 (8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 17-15, 12-10) win over top seed and country’s second ranked Manush Shah in a nail biting quarterfinal encounter to claim the top honours. But the city lad suffered a 0-4 (5-11, 7-11, 12-14, 11-13) loss at the hands of India No. 4 Parth Virmani of Delhi in semifinal and had to be satisfied with a bronze medal.
A student of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Jubilee Hills , Snehit was delighted with his fine show. “I am happy with my performance in the crucial nationals. My coach Som bhayya worked hard to prepare me to perform at the national level and the tips given by the former national champion S Raman during my one month stay in Chennai before the national championships too came in handy. I should put more effort to perform well in the coming days,” said an exuberant Snehit.
Telangana State TT Association selection committee chairman A Narasimha Rao congratulated Snehit on his accomplishment and added, “Snehit is the first player to win a medal in Junior national championships in at least last 25 years from Telugu land. We are happy with this feat.”
Meanwhile, Snehit’s State compatriot and academy teammate, Akula Sreeja along with partner Archana Kamat representing the Airports Authority of India (AAI), bagged their second consecutive gold medal when they blanked West Bangal’s Moumita Datta and Priyadarsini Das in youth girls doubles finals with a 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 11-8) score margin.
Sreeja-Archana duo had earlier registered a hard fought 3-2 (6-11, 16-18, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7) win over Sagarika Mukharjee and Anuska Dutta of North Bengal in semifinals to book the final berth.
Somnath Ghosh, who trains both Sreeja and Snehit was delighted by his wards’ performances and congratulated them on their achievement. “I am particularly happy with Snehit’s performance. He rose to the occasion and reached the semifinals by outsmarting a top ranked player. It is a record sort of medal for Telangana.”
He added that Sreeja shone well in team and doubles.
Semifinal: S Fidel R Snehit (TS) lost to Parth Virmani (Delhi) 0-4 (5-11, 7-11, 12-14, 11-13); Quarterfinal: S Fidel R Snehit bt Manush Shah (Gujarat) 4-3 (8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 12-14, 11-9, 17-15, 12-10).