Srinagar, August 24: Maharashtra defeated Delhi 3-0 in the final of the men’s 65+ age category to lift the trophy in the 28th Masters National Table Tennis Championships at the Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Stadium here today.
Complementing them was the state’s women’s team of 60+ and 65+ that claimed the gold medal beating another squad from the state 3-0.
All these portend that the other teams in the fray will have a tough time tackling the determined Maharashtrians who have come in large numbers to dominate the Master’s events that are taking place after a break of two years.
In the men’s contest, Delhi did not have an answer to the clinical performance of Maharashtra’s A team consisting of Prakash Kelkar, Percy Mehta and Jayanti Kulkarni. Kelkar began the proceedings with a perfect 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-8) triumph over Narendra Singh Rawat of Delhi. Though Rawat was all at sea in the first game, he steadied himself to fight well in the next two games, especially in the second when Kelkar won it with minimal points. In the second, too, Rawat closed in on his rival but Kelkar proved too good for the Delhi paddler.
Percy Mehta downed Ashutosh Kumar 11-7, 11-7, 11-5 with the latter losing steam after running Mehta close in the first two games. With a comfortable lead, the third game was a formality for the Maharashtra player.
In the third rubber of the tie, Jayant Kulkarni made mincemeat of his Delhi opponent, Sunil Kumar Chawla, winning it 11-2, 11-7, 114, putting the trophy beyond Delhi’s grip. But the Delhi men can take heart from the fact that they ended up on the podium, grabbing the silver medal.
C Women win gold
Picking from where they left off yesterday evening, the C squad of Maharashtra’s 60+ and 65+ Women’s team picked up the gold medal after outplaying their A team, also the top seed. In what turned out to be a final between the three women versus two women combination, the latter proved a tough nut to crack as they made it a one-sided affair.
Their A team pitted Ujwala Marathe against Ranjana Patki in the opening rubber. After Marathe won the second game, it must have given a glimmer of hope to the bench. But Ranjana Patki did not give any further chance to wrap it up 11-3, 4-11, 11-5, 11-5. Swati Agarkar played brilliantly to challenge the bragging rights of Mangal Saraf, but the former’s resistance did not help her restore parity, including in the third game tie-break. In the end, Saraf won 11-8, 11-8, 12-10 to give a 2-0 cushion to their side.
Deepa Jain and Nutan failed to combine well against the experienced pair of Saraf and Patki and lost 3-11, 3-11, 9-11.
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