In Tunis, Indian players Diya Chitale and Swastika Ghosh confirmed a medal in the U-19 girls’ doubles category and also made it to the knockout stage in singles, at the 2021 World Table Tennis Youth Star Contender.
This is the first international youth event where India TT players are competing in since the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Maharashtra duo of Diya and Swastika, who received a bye in the opening round, won 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8 against local favourites Fadwa Garci and Maram Zoghlami in the last-eight encounter and secured at least a bronze with an entry into the semi-finals.
The pair will now take on Czech Republic’s Linda Zaderova and Croatia’s Hana Arapovic in the last-four match.
Diya and Swastika also progressed into the U-19 singles last-16 stage after finishing on top in their respective groups with an all-win record.
Diya, the national youth champion, dominated during her 3-0 victories against Belarusian Darya Vasilenka (11-7, 11-7, 11-7), Linda Zaderova (11-4, 10-12, 11-1, 11-8) and Algeria’s Narimene-Hind Siddeki (11-3, 11-4, 11-7) in Group-VI.
Junior national champion Swastika defeated Greece’s Malamatenia Papadimitriou and Portugal’s Ines Matos by identical 3-0 margins in the Group-I.
In the boys’ U-15 singles, Preyesh Raj Suresh bowed out in the quarter-finals.