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Pankaj keeps his date with destiny, enters the medal round

Jalandhar: Pankaj Sharma of Punjab kept his date with destiny to enter the medal round in the 60+ category singles for men after he beat Prafulla S Wagh of Maharashtra 3-0 in the UTT 29th National Masters Table Tennis Championships at the PAP Indoor Stadium today.

Thus, he ensured the first individual medal for the hosts as Punjab had garnered a team silver on the third day of the championships.

Pankaj did not have to break a sweat tackling his Maharashtra rival, who seemed under the weather on a sultry day in the quarterfinals. Despite stiff resistance from Wagh, Sharma managed to run through him in the first game comfortably. Growing in confidence, Sharma came close to conceding the second but did well to stop his opponent in the nick of time and won with minimal points. The trend continued in the third for Sharma when Wagh failed to stop his rival as he lacked consistency.

But the fourth quarterfinal went down to the wire, and Jaswinder Singh Patheja of West Bengal came from behind to enter the semi-finals. In the other quarterfinals, it was easy for Prag Shah and Anil Rasam, from Gujarat and Maharashtra, respectively.

Malay Kumar Thakkar of Gujarat struggled past Joginder Singh Bisht of Maharashtra in a needle quarterfinal match in the 50+ singles for men. Three games went neck and neck and got extended, but the Gujarat man did not give up once to win them all, including the last on his fourth match point.

The quarterfinals in the 40+ category are underway, and the mixed doubles finals will follow them.

Yogesh Desai and Ulhas Shirke outsmarted state mates Pinakin Sampat and Satish B. Kulkarni to win the Men’s Doubles final in the 70+ category 3-2 and lift the trophy yesterday evening. The match was tantalisingly poised when Sampat and Kulkarni won the fourth game on their fifth game point to restore parity. In the decisive fifth game, Desai and Shirke won the game and the match on their second match point, pushing their state mates to the second spot on the podium.

In the all-Gujarat final in the 75+ section, Nazmi Khinkhabwala and Indresh Purohit combined well to beat Ashok Brahmbhatt and Rasik Dave in straight games to make it a one-sided final.


Men’s Singles 50+Quarterfinals: Manish Rawat (Mah) bt Ajay Jha (Del) 11-8, 11-8, 11-2, Santosh Khirwarkar (IA&AD) bt Saneer Bhate (Mah) 11-7, 11-1, 5-11, 8-11, 12-10, Malay Kumar Thakkar (Guj) bt Joginder Singh Bisht (IA&AD) 13-11, 15-13, 9-11, 7-11, 15-13, Basab Chaudhuri (IA&AD) bt Rajesh Singh (Mah) 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8.

Men’s Singles 60+Quarterfinals: Pankaj Shara (Pun) bt Prafulla S. Wagh (Mah) 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, Parag Shah (Guj) bt Subhamoy Chatterjee (WB) 11-9, 11-5, 11-6, Anil Rasam (Mah) bt Ravinder K. Sharma 9Del) 11-9, 11-6, 11-2, Jaswinder Singh Patheja (WB) bt Rahul Dutt (UP) 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-9.

Men’s Singles 65+Quarterfinals: Prakash Kelkar (Mah) bt Devinder Nath Maggo (Chd) 11-2, 11-3, 11-5, Pramod Soni (MP) bt Jayant Kulkarni (Mah) 6-11, 12-10, 11-7, 13-15, 11-4, Dr Peter Desouza (HP) bt Vishu Botta (Kar) 11-7, 11-6, 11-6, Ravi Vashist (Del) bt Gopal Chakraborty (WB) 12-10, 11-6,

Men’s Doubles 70+Final: Yogesh Desai/Ulhas Shirke (Mah) bt Pinakin Sampat/Satish B. Kulkarni (Mah) 11-6. 7-11, 11-9, 14-16.

Men’s Doubles 75+Final: Nazmi Khinkhabwala/Indresh Purohit (Guj) bt Ashok Brahmbhatt/Rasik Dave (Guj) 11-3, 11-8, 11-2.





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