Gandhidham 02, November : When the unseeded Gujarat’s pair of Frenaz Chipia and Filzahfatema Kadri entered the semi-final of table tennis’ women’s doubles event at the ongoing 37th National Games in Goa, they not just ensured a bronze medal but also made sure history was made in state table tennis.
As Surat girls Frenaz and Filzah stormed their way into the semis after upsetting top seeds Diya Chitale and Ananya Basak (Maharashtra) 3-2 in pre-quarterfinal and Himani Chaturvedi and Khushi Jain (MP) 3-0 in quarterfinal, they became the first-ever women’s doubles pair from the state to win a medal in this category at any national-level event.
Their 0-3 semifinal loss to Kaushani Nath and Sagarika Mukherjee (WB) was tough but both the paddlers were happy that they could break the medal barrier in women’s doubles event for their state.
“We played without any pressure and took one match at a time not thinking too much about the draw. Our win over the top seeds Diya and Ananya was special. I am glad we could execute our plans against them,” the 27-year-old Frenaz said who won her third medal at the National Games (Team bronze at 34th Games in 2011 in Ranchi, mixed doubles bronze with Devesh Karia at 35th Games in Kerala).
Filzahfatema, who captured her maiden National Games medal, was all praise for her senior partner Frenaz. “We just stayed calm throughout our matches and avoided giving negative points to our opponents,” the 20-year-old youngster said.
President, Gujarat State Table Tennis Association (GSTTA), Shri Pramod Chaudhary said that the hard work of the players and state association is paying off well. “Today, Frenaz and Filzah achieved what was never done before in this state. We are reaping results of years of hard work and dedication,” he said.
GSTTA secretary, Shri Kushal Sangtani said: “I am proud of our paddlers and delighted that table tennis has contributed in adding a medal to Gujarat’s overall tally”.