Ranchi: Veteran Sharath Kamal beat top-seed Anthony Amalraj 4-1 to win the men's singles title for the eighth time, equalling the feat of Kamlesh Mehta at the 11Even Sports Senior Table Tennis Nationals in Ranchi Tuesday.
The win was worth Rs. 2 lakh, but what Sharath would have cherished more on the evening was the warm hug that he received from the man, who held the record for so many years watching him perform from close quarters.
As the last point was won, Kamlesh stood and applauded the modern icons efforts and without wasting time crossed the surrounds to applaud the Chennai man as photographers captured the rare moment.
"Its a proud moment for me personally, Sharath deserves all the accolades," said Mehta.
But Sharath was equally humble when he said: "What he (Kamlesh) did was more praiseworthy because I am two levels above the current lot of players. But Kamlesh had to fight with players of same calibre to accomplish the honour."
Whatever be the case, Sharath was simply fantastic. He did lose his first game but hit the groove once he found his touch and timing.
There were flashes of some genius in some of the down-the-line shots and placements and, however hard Amalraj tried, he could not deny the champion his place under the sun.
Suthirta Mukehrjee from West Bengal emerged the new women champion, beating Hyderabad Nationals winner Manika Batra 4-3. Her maiden effort fetched Rs. 1.5 lakh and Manika received 50 percent less in prize money.
Men: Final: A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt Anthony Amalraj (PSPB) 6-11, 11-6, 15-13, 11-8, 11-7; Semifinals: A. Amalraj bt Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 6-11, 18-20, 11-9, 13-11, 11-7, 12-10; A. Sharath Kamal bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 4-11, 11-6, 11-6, 2-11, 11-6, 11-8.
Doubles: Final: Soumyajit Ghosh-Jubin Kumar (HRN) bt Mohit Verma-Sourav Saha (HRN) 11-2, 11-6, 11-6.
Women: Final: Suthirta Mukherjee (WB) bt Manika Batra (PSPB) 11-4, 11-13, 11-6, 5-11, 11-2, 9-11, 12-10; Semifinals: Suthirta Mukherjee bt Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) 11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-8; Manika Batra bt Mallika Bhandarkar (MHR) 11-9, 8-11, 11 -8, 9-11, 4-11, 11-5, 12-10.
Doubles: Final: Mousumi Paul-Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) bt Mouma Das-Archana Kamath (PSPB) 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7.
Mixed Doubles: Final: Raj Mondal-Akula Sreeja (RBI) bt Akaash Nath-Ankita Das (NB) 11-8,11-9, 9-11, 6-11, 11-6.
Updated Date: Jan 30, 2018 21:48:18 IST