Shillong, Sep 12: The first Meghalaya Open Table Tennis Tournament, organised by Laban SC’s Table Tennis Academy, concluded at the club’s indoor stadium here on Saturday.

In the men’s singles final, Aryan Joshi outclassed the formidable No. 1 seed T Yogesh 4-1 in a thrilling encounter.  Joshi had to overcome an injury, specifically an ankle sprain, which he picked up in pre-final training, to outshine his more-experienced opponent in a gruelling battle that lasted well over an hour and a half.

In the women’s singles final, a budding young Wanpyntngenlang Lyngdoh (featured photo with the tournament’s chief referee Banshan Diengdoh) from Nongstoin beat another tournament favourite, Camellia Diengdoh, 4-2 in a close thriller. Both players displayed immense talent, strength and technique to grab the attention of the spectators and participants alike.

The U-19 and U-14 boys’ finals were both played in the best of five sets format. Prashanta Sarmah Bordoloi narrowly defeated Labeeb Faisel Ahmed 3-2 in the U-19 final, while Debobroto Paul blanked Krishiv Chaudhary 3-0 in the U-14 title match.

The tournament also had a veterans’ category for men above 40.

The singles champion was Nirmalaya Bhattacharjee, from Cooch Behar, who won the final over an ace player from the past, Gilbert Sohtun, 3-1. Bhattacharjee also teamed up with S Pyngrope in the veterans’ doubles and won the final 3-0 against RB Das and Ranjan Dey.

The organisers also acknowledged the efforts of 5-year-old Shriya Thapa, the youngest player, and RB Das, the oldest at the age of 72.

There were 110 participants in all and the prize purse totalled Rs 78,000.

The chief guest at the closing ceremony was cabinet minister, local MLA and Laban SC chief patron Sanbor Shullai, who promised the club Rs 1 lakh to further its activities.

“I am awestruck at the huge success of the tournament, not only in terms of participants, but also the large attendance on both days, despite low publicity,” Sammy N Myrthong, Laban SC President, said. “This has boosted our morale and we are immensely gratified that so many aspiring TT players are converging at the academy to better their game and prove their worth. We shall strive to do better.”

(Photo contributed)

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