Tuesday, 21 August, 2007

Double whammy for Ashlesha, Biniwale

Photo: Anand Chaini

Double crown winners Ashlesha Bodas (left) and Martand Biniwale pose for photograph

B D Narayankar


Coming up with sterling performances, top seed Aslesha Bodas overwhelmed third seed Ruhi Sidhaye and second seed Deepti Chaphekar in the finals of Le Meridien Women’s and U-20 Girl’s Singles Table Tennis Championships here on Tuesday.

Exceeding all expectations, Aslesha came up with ‘heavyweight’ performance and raced away to a 11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7 verdict over her rival Ruhi in the women’s segment. In the U-20 girl’s event, she mercilessly dashed the hopes of Deepti Chaphekar 11-3, 13-11, 11-5, and 11-6.

Like Aslesha, it was also time for Martand Biniwale to prove a point. He also bagged double crown this evening. The top seed, Martand outplayed Aamish Karamchandani 12-10, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7 to capture U-20 boy’s title and Vivek Kolte 11-3, 11-5, 11-7, and 11-9 to claim the men’s singles title.

Though the top seeds emerged victorious, the singles finals failed to provide excitement usually associated with title-clashes.

Aslesha was a revelation indeed, especially in women’s final. The top seed came with delightful exhibition. Her anticipation stood right throughout the match. Her defense was effective everytime Ruhi grew aggressive.

What really snatched victory from Juhi were Aslesha’s finishing strokes. They had venom and stinging enough to win vital points in crucial junctures of the match.

Aslesha showed that sometimes playing a waiting game and mixing it well with attacking finishes could be deadly. Everytime Ruhi tried to up the ante, Aslesha was equal to it. Most of the time, she won the battle on that count.

Sometimes, Ruhi was even better everytime she tried to block when Aslesha went for the kill. An exasperated Ruhi tried to hit her way out of trouble but succeeded at few occasions. “Ruhi is a fine blocker than an aggressor,” Aslesha told Herald after the match.

Ruhi found it difficult to break Aslesha’s rhythm. She failed to loosen Aslesha’s grip. With her confidence dipping, she conceded points in a heap.

Aslesha did not take much time to provide the finishing touches and ended Juhi’s resistance much earlier than anticipated.

RESULTS: Women’s singles final: Aslesha Bodas bt Ruhi Sidhaye 11-5, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7; U-20 Girl’s singles final: Ahlesha Bodas bt Deepti Chaphekar 11-3, 13-11, 11-5, 11-6; U-20 Boy’s singles final: Martand Biniwale bt Aamish Karamchandani 12-10, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7; Men’s singles final: Martand Biniwale bt Vivek Kolte 11-3, 11-5, 11-7, 11-9

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