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Indian Table Tennis players shine with historic triple title win at the WTT Contender Lagos 2024

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Indian paddlers produced a historic showing in Lagos this week,winning 3 WTT Contender titles,which going by the statistics is the best ever Indian performance in any WTT Contender event till date.

Since it’s inception in 2021,Indian paddlers have managed to win only 4 Contender level titles,3 of them coming in the year 2021. But a stellar showing in Lagos this week,saw Indian paddlers almost double the number,adding 3 more titles to the list.

SREEJA AKULA WINS HER FIRST EVER WTT CONTENDER TITLE

Sreeja Akula has arguably been the breakout Indian star this season. With two WTT Feeder titles already in her kitty,she added another one, achieving the historic feat of becoming the first ever Singles Champion of a Contender event, across both genders.

Sreeja Akula

Sreeja started off well with wins over Compratriots Diya Chitale & Yashashwini Ghorpade in the round of 16 & quarter finals respectively.

Her toughest match was in the semis where she faced another Indian in Sutirtha Mukherjee, who herself had came off with a humongous win over world no 8 Shin Yubin of Korea in the quarter finals.

Sreeja WTT Lagos

A clutch performance by Sreeja saw her save 3 match points in the decider to win the match and seal her spot in the finals. She had a rather Comfortable victory in the finals,beating young Chinese paddler Yijie Ding 4-1.

This tournament win will provide a major rankings boost for Sreeja,she takes 400 ranking points and will reach a new career high top 30 in world ranking next week,and will overtake Manika Batra to become the India No 1 paddler for a second time.

Sutirtha is now WR24


This will also ensure she gets seeded within the top 32 for the Paris Olympics,which will mean that she will avoid the preliminary round of play.

SREEJA-ARCHANA WINS THE WOMENS DOUBLES TITLE

In only their first ever tournament as a pair together, Sreeja Akula & Archana Kamath performed brilliantly winning all their matches without dropping a single game.


They stream rolled past their more fancied Compatriots and India No 1 pair Sutirtha & Ayhika Mukherjee in the semi finals while picking up another Comfortable 3-0 win over another Indian pair of Yashaswini Ghorpade & Diya Chitale in the finals.

This is the second WTT Contender title for Archana who had previously won the womens doubles title at the WTT Contender Lasko in 2021 along with Manika Batra.
For Sreeja it was her first ever contender title but the night got even better when she went on to win the singles title as well later on.

HARMEET-MANAV WINS THE MENS DOUBLES TITLE

Much like Sreeja and Archana, the pairing of Harmeet Desai & Manav Thakkar was made inorder to test the doubles combination for the team events at the upcoming Paris Olympics. The experiment seems to have paid off with both pairs winning the titles in a dominant fashion.

Harmeet and Manav produced a dominant performance ,beating 3 Nigerian and a Chinese pair en route the title,all without dropping a single game. This is the first ever contender title for Manav Thakkar,who could never manage to win one,despite being a part of  one of the top 15 pairs in the world,pairing up with Manush Shah.

For Harmeet,this was his second Contender title,having earlier won the mens doubles title at the WTT Contender Tunis 2021 partnering with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

Overall this was a very successful outing for the Indian paddlers in Lagos.They will now be gearing up for another Contender event in Tunis in a couple of days,hoping to display & achieve the same level of performance & results as they did in Lagos. Best wishes to the Indian contingent.

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