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Nitin, Aarja are champions

Calcutta: Nitin Kumar Sinha of Bengal held his nerves to emerge champion in the boys’ under-16 singles of the Sunfeast AITA Super Series junior meet, organised by Akhtar Ali, at the South Club, on Saturday.

Nitin rallied to defeat statemate Sanil Jagtiani 6-7, 7-5, 6-2 in a gruelling match, which continued for three hours.

Speaking after the match, Nitin said: “I was focussed from the beginning. I worked hard and it has all paid off. I am quite pleased with my efforts.”

While Nitin was happy, Sanil rued his luck. “I was really playing well… But then, I had cramps in the second set. I still tried to put up a fight… In the end, though, it was not enough,” said Sanil, who won the under-16 doubles title on Friday.

In girls’ under-16, Aarja Chakrabarthy of Uttar Pradesh also came back from a set down to defeat Karnataka’s Rashmika Rajan 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

In under-14 boys, Vikash Singh thrashed Rohan K. Reddy of Andhra Pradesh 6-2, 6-2. For the record, Vikash spearheaded India’s winning campaign in the under-14 Asian Cup in Qatar last December.

“The win gave me a lot of confidence. I came runner-up in this tournament last year. So I wanted to win the tournament and I’m happy with my performance,” said Vikash.

Sports minister Madan Mitra was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. Also present were US Consul General Helen LaFave, Naresh Kumar and Chuni Goswami.