Event Section
Kelker outplays Chakraborty to win gold


Srinagar, August 26: Prakash Kelkar of Maharashtra outplayed Gopal Chakraborty of West Bengal in the Men’s 65+ singles final to win gold and lift the trophy in the 28th Masters National Table Tennis Championships at the Sher-e-Kashmir Indoor Stadium here today.


Kelkar proved intelligent and used the flanks well to surprise Chakraborty with excellent backhand flicks. His finish with the forehand, too, was good and brooked little challenge from the Bengal paddler.


After taking a 2-0 lead, one would have expected Kelkar to wrap it up quickly. But Chakraborty had other plans and ran him very close in the third, winning the game 12-0. Yet, the Maharashtra player kept a cool head and surged into a good lead in the fourth game. Chakraborty tried his best with good counters and, in the bargain, made a few unforced errors which hastened the result in favour of Kelkar.


In the 70+ category men's doubles final, in which two Maharashtra pairs clashed, Yogesh Desai and Ulhas Shirke defeated Satish Kulkarni and Pinakin Sampat 11-9, 11-5, 11-4. In the opening game, both the pairs went neck and neck, but Desai and Shirke claimed the crucial two points to go up.


That was also an indication of which direction the final would go. Desai and Shirke combined well and played close to the table, converting the chances that came their way. Their agility also helped them outwit the error-prone second pair from the state as the winners completed the task without any inhibition.  


In the 75+ and 80+ category men's doubles final, Arun Singh Barhat and Mukund Dev Aggarwal of Rajasthan had to toil a little more than they would have anticipated against a determined Dr B. Sainath Iyer and Prabhakar GY from Karnataka. Down 0-2, the Rajasthan pair recovered in the third game to give them a lease of life. Buoyed by this win, Barhat and Aggarwal upped the ante and took the next two games (7-11, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2) and romp home winners with a 3-2 verdict.


In the semifinals, too, Kelkar was more confident against his opponents. But Chakraborty had torrid moments in the two extended games when Percy Mehta, also from Maharashtra, fought well in the second and third games. But the unlucky Mehta fell short on both occasions.




Men’s Singles 65+Final: Prakash Kelkar (Mah) bt Gopal Chakraborty (WB) 11-5, 11-2, 10-12, 11-6; Semifinals: Prakash Kelkar (Mah) bt Suhas Dandekar (Mah) 11-3, 11-7, 11-4; Gopal Chakraborty (WB-A) bt Percy Mehta (Mah) 11-6, 13-11, 14-12.


Men’s Doubles 70+Final: Yogesh Desai/Ulhas Shirke (Mah) bt Satish Kulkarni/Pinakin Sampat (Mah) 11-9, 11-5, 11-4.


Men’s Doubles 75+&80+Final: Arun Singh Barhat/Mukund Dev Aggarwal (Raj) bt Dr B. Sainath Iyer/Prabhakar GY (Kar) 3-2 (7-11, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2).