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Junior title for Siliguri paddler

Siliguri, Jan. 21: Siliguri girl Oishwaryya Deb has bagged the junior national single’s title at the national junior and youth table tennis championship that ended in Guwahati yesterday.

Oishwaryya, along with Sagarika Mukherjee, also from Siliguri, has won the junior national doubles’ finals as well. The match was held in the same venue last evening.

In the single’s finals, Oishwaryya won by beating Sagarika in a straight set of 4-0.

“The win, to some extent, was unexpected. In 2012, I had suffered a ligament injury in my right wrist. Since then, I was having problems playing. I had lost confidence and did not have good ranking in the national level. Yesterday’s win has brought back the confidence in me. I had put in my best efforts,” Oishwaryya, who arrived here today, said.

The 17-year-old is a first year English honours student at APC Government College here. “For the past four months, I have been practising regularly for four-five hours a day,” said the resident of Subhaspally.

She started playing in 2004 when she was eight and yesterday’s match is her first major win. In 2007, Oishwaryya got the second place in the national cadet girls’ single’s tournament in Chennai. Her father Bikash is a faculty at Surya Sen College, while mother Swati teaches in Siliguri Women’s College. “We intend to extend our support so that she can move ahead and win more titles,” said Bikash.

The paddler’s feat comes within a week of another Siliguri girl Ankita Das’s win at the senior national single’s title in table tennis in Patna.

Oishwaryya initially took coaching at the Siliguri Table Tennis Academy. Later, she shifted to YMA Club, where Mantu and her husband coach.

“Last year, she had a setback because of an injury but we kept on encouraging her as we had confidence that she would prove herself some day,” Mantu said. “It is nice to hear that she has finally achieved success and is the national junior girls’ champion in table tennis.”