Nehan, Soumi stunned in semis, to decide bronze among themselves

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Pune, Oct 16 (UNI) Neha Aggarwal and Soumi Mondal failed to make it to the final as they faltered at the last hurdle and lost their semi-final matches in straight games to leave it to two Singaporeans to decide the top two medals in the girls' singles of the Table Tennis competition of the Commonwealth Youth Games here today.

An off-colour Neha Aggarwal, whose Olympic campaign at Beijing this year lasted just 34 minutes, failed to find her footing in the match and was defeated by Isabelle Li 0-4 (5-11, 6-11, 6-11, 9-11) in just 28 minutes, while Soumi Mondal bacanme the victim of another Singaporean Kai Xin Zena Sim to whom she lost 04 (14-16, 10-12, 4-11, 4-11).

The ace Indian paddler was not in her best form and her weak and wayward returns added to her miseries. Though the Indian did try to make a comeback with her last game effort, it was still not enough and Neha had to surrender rather tamely.

The 18-year-old Neha, who won the gold medal in the doubles event with Soumi Mondal last night, was always trailing her Singaporean rival but the Indian did get a chance in the fourth game but she let it go.

In the last game, Neha had a handsome lead when she was leading 6-2, but Isabelle made a stunning return in the game and levelled the scores at 6-6.

From there on, it was an even exchange of scores but at 9-9, the Singaporean grabbed two important points to surge ahead a book a place in the final for herself.

Meanwhile, Soumi was stunned by the firepower that Kai Xin exhibited from the very start of the match. The Indian still made a strong effort but it was still not enough to to thwart her Singaporean rival.

Soumi fought hard in the first two games and lost at scores 14-16, 10-12, but after those two games the Indian ran out of steam and succumbed to her rival's determined game.

Both the Indian paddlers, however, will now have to fight it out amongst themselves to decide the bronze medal.

UNI RAR AB ND1225

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