Diya Chitale, who has been training off-and-on under former India coach Engel at Frankfurt over the last two years, made her presence at the Croatia Junior and Cadet Open table tennis tournament here memorable by winning two bronze medals in the u-15 cadet girl’s team event and in the cadet girls’ singles.
Unable to travel
The Indian team was unable to travel to Varazdin, but Diya found sufficient support to travel to Europe with her coach Sachin Shetty and mother Reshma to get exposure and earn points.
Diya, who is supported OGQ, will join the Indian team in Slovenia this week.
Former National champion and India coach, Kamlesh Mehta said the tournament in Croatia is an official ITTF event, and players, in the absence of teammates, can partner players from other countries.
So in the team event, Diya and Russian partner Liubov Tentser reached the semifinals, where they lost to the top Chinese-Taipei pair Feng-en Cai & Ci-Xuan Chen, who eventually went on to win the title.
On Sunday, in the Cadet girls quarterfinals, she upset World No. 7 and No. 2 seed, Japan’s Satsuki Odo, 11-7, 3-11, 11-8, 12-10 to be assured of the second bronze medal.
She lost to the World No. 11 and No. 3 seed, Russia’s Elizabet Abraamian in the semifinals.
Following her good showing here, she found a place in Team Asia that will take part in the World Cadet Challenge Tournament in Fiji from October 21 to 29.