Jaipur, February 18: Rahul Chopra of Delhi bagged his maiden Men Singles gold in 40+ category after beating Vikas Mahajan of Punjab 10-12, 11-7, 7-11, 18-16, 11-6 in what proved to be the toughest final in the 25th Veterans National Table Tennis Championships at the SMS Indoor Stadium here today.
Chopra made a great escape as Mahajan squandered three match-points in the fourth game and levelled the score. Chopra, too, held three game points in the fourth but after six deuces he managed to win 18-16 and thereafter the Delhi veteran never looked back. So confident was he that he simply demolished whatever little hopes that Mahajan may have nourished in the decider to win it by a huge margin.
A nervy Mahajan would rue the blunder when, on championship point, served at the net to give a lease of life to his Delhi rival. Thereafter, the Punjab man had two more chances at 13-12 and 16-15. Once Chopra made it 16-all, the fortune swung in his favour in the game which saw several rallies, as good as a senior national final!
But his elder brother Harsh Chopra was not so lucky as Sunil Babras of Dena Bank added one more 50+ singles title when he defeated the Delhi paddler 11-6, 11-3, 11-4. Babras had won the first title at Chandigarh a couple of years ago and thus made up for his disappointment of not winning the senior nationals singles crown ever during his active playing days. Incidentally, he has three titles to his name in the 40+ section as well.
In men singles final of categories between 60+ and 80+ all except one match went the full distance and of which Maharashtra’s dominance was palpable in three while one title each went the way of Gujarat’s Nazmi Khinkhabwala (70+) and Karnataka’s B.U. Krishnamurthy (80+). The Gujrat man, though dropped a game, beat MP’s R.P. Moriya 4-1.
As for Maharashtra Prakash Kulkarni won against teammate D. Shelarkar 3-2, Yogesh Desai wriggled out a similar result against Suhas Kulkarni, also of Maharashtra and Subodh Depande defeated Andhra Pradesh’s A.K. Rednam in 75+ in what was a tough final.
In men doubles Maharashtra won two titles in 60+ and 65+ sections. In the first, the Maharashtra duo of Jayant Kulkarni and Percy Mehta beat S.Sreedhar and M.s. Subramanyam from Tamil Nadu 3-2 while Yogesh Desai and Deepak Dudhane downed Ulhas Shirke-Suhas Kulkarni, also Maharashtra, 3-1. Madhya Pradesh Indresh Pathak and R.P. Moria combined well to defeat Srinivas Chalawadi and S.P. Jagannath of Telangana in straight games in the 70+ doubles final.
In women singles 40+ Prasunna Joshi of Gujarat beat Rajani Gupta of Punjab 3-2 while in 50+ Mantu Murmu of IVC got a walkover from Maharashtra Suhasini Bakre, who failed to turn out after a prolonged wait. The final was awarded to Mantu. In 50+ doubles, Mantu and Modira Sur paired up to beat Bhavana Harne and Nagrathana of Karnataka in the see-saw final which the IVC duo won 3-2.
In Mixed Doubles, Maharashtra claimed three out of four gold medals on offer as their paddlers won in the 40+, 50+ and 60+ categories while in 65+ section, the gold medal was claimed by the Telangana pair of Adi Laxmi Krishnan and Ravinder Reddy who beat Maharashtra’s Nirmala Abhyankar and Venkat Ranga Rao 3-0.
Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Union Minister for Sports, gave away the medals to winners.
Men 50+ Singles: Sunil Babras (DB) bt Harsh Chopra (DEL) 11-6, 11-3, 11-4.
Men 60+ Singles: Prakash Kulkarni (MHR) bt D Shelarkar (MHR) 13-15, 11-9, 16-14, 13-11.
Men 65+ Singles: Yogesh Desai (MHR) bt Suhas Kulkarni (MHR) 12-10, 7-11, 10-12, 11-4, 11-7.
Men 70+ Singles: Nazmi Khinkhabwala (GUJ) bt Ramesh P. Malvia (MP) 11-6, 13-11, 11-8.
Men 75+ Singles: Subodh Deshpande (MHR) bt AK Rednam (AP) 6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 6-11, 11-7.
Men 80+ Singles: B.U. Krishnamurthy (KNT) bt AN Bhargava (UP) 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-9.
Men 40+ Doubles: Vikas Mahajan-Rama Kanak (PUN) bt Rohit Choudhary-Vivek Bhargava (MHR) 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9.
Men 50+ Doubles: Ajay Jha-Harsh Chopra (DEL) bt Surendranath-Soram Joyachandra IA&AD 11-6, 11-4, 11-6.
Men 60+ Doubles: Jayant Kulkarni-Percy Mehta (MHR) bt S. Sreedhar-M.S. Subramanyam (TN) 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 12-14, 12-10.
Men 65+ Doubles: Yogesh Desai-Deepak Dudhane (MHR) bt Ulhas Shirke-Suhas Kulkarni (MHR) 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9.
Men 70+ Doubles: Indresh Pathak-R.C. Moriya (MP) bt Srinivas Chalawadi-S.P.Jagannath (TELG) 11-8, 11-9, 11-7.
Women 40+ Singles: Prasunna Joshi (GUJ) bt Rajani Gupta (PUN) 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 12-14, 13-11.
Women 50+ Singles: Mantu Murmu (IVC) bt Suhasini Bakre (MHR) w/o 3-0.
Women 50+ Doubles: Mantu Murmu-Mondira Sur (IVC) bt Bhavana Harne-Nagrathna (KNT) 11-6, 13-15, 12-14, 11-8, 11-5.
Mixed 40+ Doubles: Rohit Choudhary-Shilpa Joshi (MHR) bt Vivek Bhargava-Moonmoon Mukherjee (MHR) 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6.
Mixed 50+ Doubles: Atmaram Gangarde-Neeta Kulkarni (MHR) bt Sanjay Mehta-Ruby Kumar (MP) 11-9, 11-8, 11-7.
Mixed 60+ Doubles: Dinkar Shelarkar-Mangala Saraf (MHR) bt Percy Mehta-Mythili Sodhi (MHR) w/o 3-0.
Mixed 65+ Doubles: Adi Laxmi Krishnan-Ravinder Reddy (TELG) bt Nirmala Abhyankar-Venkat Ranga Rao 11-9, 11-8, 11-9.
Press Release- TTFI
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