December 21, 2016 by Pickleball Times
In the 4th National Senior Pickle ball tournament held in Jaipur city in Rajasthan, the team from Maharashtra emerged victorious in the overall championship. Pickleball, a US based game played with a paddle and a ball, is fast gaining popularity in India over the last few years.
In this tournament, almost 150 players from 11 different states of India had participated at the Sawai Mansing Indoor stadium on the 12th and 13th of November, 2016.
Team Maharashtra with three gold and one silver and one bronze medal, has become Champion second time in consecutive succession. Last year also this title was won by Maharashtra in Panipat at Haryana
On the first day, all the league matches were played while the finals were played on the second day of the tournament.
The men’s single final was played between Nikhil Singh Rajput from Rajasthan and Aniket Durgawale from Maharashtra. The first set was won by Rajasthan with Nikhil scoring 11 point over a 5 point by Anikit. However, Maharashtra managed to make a comeback in the second set with 11 point lead against 8 points by Rajasthan. In the interesting final set, Nikhil managed to gain victory by aggressively defeat Aniket with a difference of 11 point to 2.
The men’s double game was played between Maharashtra’s Manish Rao and Bhushan Potnis against Bharat Raj Sharma and Prashant Kalani of Rajasthan. This match too like the men’s single match was the most awaited match with Maharashtra pitted against the host team. Last year, Manish and Bharat had faced each other with different set of partners. It may be known that last year, Rajasthan had managed to defeat Maharashtra at the Shivaji Stadium of Panipat. Bharat and Mukhyar Ali of Rajasthan had defeated Manish and Sachin Mandrekar of Maharashtra.
In the men’s doubles, Manish & Bhushan won the first set by 11-5. Audience expected that second set would be won by Rajasthan. However, the Maharashtrian players did not give an opportunity to the host team and bagged second set also by 11-7 points thus sealing their victory.
One of the passionate games of the tournament was the men’s double semi-final match played between Maharashtra and Bihar. Anand Singh and Abhay Kumar from Bihar played a tough match against Manish and Bhushan. The players from Bihar displayed their skills and experience in the game, however, passion and superior technique of game gave an edge to Manish and Bhushan. Anand Singh and Abhay Kumar won the bronze medal as they beat Mukhytar Ali and Anurag Chouhan, pair of Pink City Jaipur.
Shubhi Vyas (Madya Pradesh) succeed to become the golden girl of women’s single category. She got a record hat trick of gold medal. Rekha Choudhari (Rajsthan) was the silver medallist.
Shubhi was one of the most experienced players of the pickle ball competition and has won several prizes for her talent. Maharashtra’s Pratiksha Bawadekar got bronze medal as she has beat Jagruti Jaware (Maharashtra).
In the women’s double, Karishma Kalike and Rutuja Kalike, sisters from Maharashtra defeated Madhulika Choudhri and Garima Gaur from Rajasthan in the final of women’s double match. Maharashtrian girls bagged gold with large difference in both sets i.e, 11-2 & 11-3. Rajasthan girls received the silver medal. Shivani Soni & Urmila Azad (Madhya Pradesh) was the winner of bronze.
The Final mix double match was also played between Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Atul Edward and Natasha were representing Maharashtra while Ashwini Kumar Wadhava and Kavita Shekhawat were playing for Rajasthan. First set was won by Atul and Natasha (11-1) while Ashwini and Kavita won the second set (11-5). Both pairs played well, but Atul and Natasha took charge of the game and earned the 11 points and won the difference of 5 points.
Opening & Closing Ceremony
Narayan Singh, Secretary, Rajasthan State Sports Council, was the chief guest of the inauguration ceremony. He met the players and encouraged them to play well. Healso organised a meal of ‘Churan Dal Bhati’, a famous delicacy of Rajasthan for everyone. Sunil Valavalkar, General Secretary, All India Pickleball Association, Mr.Anil Sharma and Raghuraj Singh, President, Rajasthan Pickleball Association along with others were present on the stage.
Closing ceremony and prize distribution were done by Raviprakash Meharda, Director General of Police. Olympion- Shriram Singh gave away the prizes to winners. Sunil Valavalkar, Raghuraj Singh and Surendra Singh, Secretary, Rajasthan Pickleball Association were also present on the occasion.
Main pillars of local organizing committee Karan Singh Shekhawat and Neetu Sharma, along with team of volunteers, worked hard for the success of the tournament.
Rahul Vani and Nikita Bhuwad took care of whole schedule of all matches. Krishna Gupta, Yogesh Gurakhe, Pranay Kinjale and others played role of referee.
Secretaries and representative of the state associations -Ranjan Gupta (Bihar), Balwant Salunke and Dharmesh Yeshlaha (Madhya Pradesh), Devanand Pandey(Jharkhand), Rajinder Deswal (Haryana), Amit Kumar Rana (Uttarakhand), Shailesh Gawali, Vijay Mhaske, Amit Vengurlekar, Nitin Sethi, Rajesh Waghmare (Maharashtra) and officials from Sikkim, Kerala, Puduchery attended this mega event.
Crown of Hat Trick
Shubhi Vyas, star player of Madhya Pradesh, won the crown of hat trick. She has achieved a record by winning three gold medals in women’s single. She had won the gold in Mumbai (2014) and Panipat (2015) before this victory. She is giving her best performance since three years and hope to see her continue this trend.
Manish Rao and Atul Edward from Mumbai, Maharashtra, were the attractions for the tournament. Manish is the winner of a competition at Madrid, Spain (2015) while Atul is gold medallist winning a tournament at Netherland (2014). Manish played men’s double and Atul was a player of mix double in the Jaipur. Both players won the gold medals in their respective categories. But many players and officials wanted to see their game. Both players played well and displayed how the match can be played strategically. Manish Rao and Atul Edward got felicitated by the inaugural chief guest Narayan Singh, Secretary, Rajasthan State Sports Council.
First time for three states
The 4th Senior National Pickleball Tournament also witnessed players from three new state teams, Kerala, Sikkim and Uttarakhand.
Players of all three states were new but they tried very well to play. Representatives from Tamil Nadu and West Bangal were present at Jaipur.
Entry of these states enhanced the event in many aspects like number of players, national reach of the game, participation of more states and variety of cultures. The tournament was showing national integrity.
Nikhil Singh Rajput (Rajasthan)
Aniket Durgawale (Maharashtra)
Kamal Gupta (Pink City Jaipur)
Shubhi Vyas (Madhya Pradesh)
Rekha Choudhari (Rajasthan)
Men’s Double match
Manish Rao & Bhushan Potnis (Maharashtra)
Bharat Raj Sharma & Prashant Kalani (Rajasthan)
Anand Singh & Abhay Kumar (Bihar)
Karishma Kalike & Rutuja Kalike (Maharashtra)
Madhulika Choudhari & Garima Gaur(Rajasthan)
Shivani Soni & Urmila Azad (Madhya Pradesh)
Atul Edwrd & Natasha (Maharashtra)
Ashwini Kumar Wadhava & Kavita Shekhawat (Rajasthan)
Neeraj Sharma & Megha Kapoor (Pink City Jaipur)
Which teams participated?
- Pink City Jaipur
- Madhya Pradesh