Bahrain: Despite giving a good account of her performance India’s Ankita Das lost to her Chinese opponent in the ongoing World Junior Table Tennis championships on Sunday. With this, the Indian challenge at the world meet came to an end, but after being overwhelmed in the first two games by a technically correct player, Ankita Das suddenly became acclimatised to the speed of the play. She matched China’s Gu Ruochen blow for blow; eventually succumbing to the Chinese teenager.
Incidentally, it was the biggest test for any member of the successful Chinese quartet with the previous three contests all having been decided in straight games. Chen Meng beat Germany’s Petrissa Solja (11-6, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9), Gu Yuting overcame Russia’s Yana Noskova (11-6, 13-11, 11-2, 11-7) and Zhu Yuling accounted for Japan’s Ayuka Tanioka (11-2, 12-10, 11-2, 11-5). Even as the Chinese witnessed a full house to cheer them, it was Ankita who won several hearts with her excellent never-give-it-up attitude.
The Chinese complimented the Indian who came through qualification to give jitters to top-ranked players. Coach Bhawani Mukherjee was immensely pleased with Ankita’s superb fight in the quarterfinals. “We know it is difficult to get past the Chinese who was aggressive. But after being two games down, Ankita showed her capabilities. I am happy she fully utilised the opportunities,” he said.