Event Section
Mangala, Manisha wears W60+ & 65+ singles crowns, Nirmala strikes double gold


Jaipur, February 17: Mangala Saraf of Maharashtra defeated Jyotsnaben Joshi of Gujarat 11-5, 11-6, 11-5 to wear the Women 60+ crown while Manisha Bodas, also of Maharashtra, beat Ritu Verma of Haryana 13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 to claim the Women 65+ singles title in the 25th Veterans National Table Tennis Championships at the SMS Indoor Stadium here today.


Of the other three titles decided, one went the way of Nirmala Abhyankar of Telangana who accounted for state-mate Adi Laxmi Krishna in straight games while in two doubles events both the Telangana paddlers beat Rajasthan’s Geeta Rani and Kamlesh Jain for the gold in 65+ category and Karnataka’s N.S. Singh and B.U. Krishnamurthy combined so well to beat the stuffing out of Ramanathan and Natarajan of Tamil Nadu, also in a similar 3-0 verdict.


Mangala had no difficulty in putting it across the Gujarat woman while it was a tough first game for Manisha who won on extended points. There after she went 2-0 up before Ritu Verma pulled one back with the third game win. However, she could not withstand the pressure generated by Manisha and folded without much fight.


The passionate Nirmala Abhyankar, who is a deaf and dumb paddler, played liked a seasoned campaigner and shut out whatever little challenge that came her way from teammate Adi Laxmi Krishnan. In fact, the resistance came about in the first two games but Adi Laxmi could not sustain until the end as she almost gave up in the third.


But Adi Laxmi will go home with at least one goal medal around her neck, thanks to her doubles partner Nirmala, who finished the nationals with to individual gold medals.


In women 65+ doubles final, the Telangana pair of Nirmala Abhyankar and Adi Laxmi Krishnan easily beat the Rajasthan duo of Kamlesh Jain and Geeta Rani 3-0. It was a slow-paced tie but the experienced Telangana combine prevailed without having to struggle much against their rivals.


In comparison, men 80+ doubles event was more intense, particularly in the first game which saw four deuces. But then Karnataka’s Singh and Krishnamurthy combined really well and saw that they won maiden gold medal.


Meanwhile, most favourite paddlers had progressed to make the quarterfinals as the day of reckoning approached them. Tomorrow being the final day, some order too was restored with the knockout matches in remaining singles and doubles going on smoothly.


Results (Finals):


Women 60+ Singles: Mangala Saraf (MHR) bt Jyotsnaben Joshi (GUJ) 11-5, 11-6, 11-5.


Women 65+ Singles: Manisha Bodas (MHR) bt Ritu Verma 13-11, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8.


Women 65+ Doubles: Adi Laxmi Krishnan-Nirmala Abhyankar (TELG) bt Kamlesh Jain -Geeta Rani (Raj) 11-7, 11-6, 11-8.


Women 70+ Singles: Nirmala Abhyankar (TELG) bt Adi Laxmi Krishnan (TELG) 11-7, 11-8, 11-4.


Men 80+ Doubles: NS Singh-BU Krishnamurthy (KNT) bt Ramanathan-Natarajan 16-14, 11-5, 11-6.