Aman, Anindita to the fore

Champions... Anindita Chakraborty of South Eastern Railway and Aman Balgu of Central Railway who won the women's and men's singles titles respectively.-

While Aman Balgu breezed through in the men’s singles final, Anindita Chakraborty had to encounter a serious challenge from Shreya Ghosh on the distaff side.

Central men and North East Frontier women won the Diamond Jubilee edition of the All India Railway (AIR) table tennis championships, hosted by the South Western Railway Sports Association (SWRSA) at the R. N. Shetty Indoor stadium, Hubli-Dharwad, Karnataka, recently. Aman Balgu and Anindita Chakraborty walked away with the men’s and women’s singles crowns respectively.

While the singles event for veteran men (over 40 years) made a comeback after a long time, the team competition was held for the first time this year.

In the men’s singles final, Aman Balgu defeated Soumyajit Sarkar 4-0 quite easily. Aman scored points at will and never relaxed his grip over the match. He scored freely with his deceptive spin and no-spin serves besides powerful loop kills of the third ball.

In the men’s team event, Central subdued South Eastern Railway 3-1 in a rather one-sided final. The match of the tournament was the rubber between Nandi and Balgu, which went the full distance.

In the women’s singles semifinals, the aspirations and intentions of the aggressive and young Tekmi Sarkar were no match to the experience and guile of Anindita Chakraborty, who continues to amaze one an all with her subtle variations and accurate game. Anindita went on to defeat Shreya Ghosh in a pulsating final 4-3. The champion paddler’s role was equally significant in her side’s success in the team event.

In the women’s Super League, North East Frontier Railway (NEFR) emerged on top by getting the better of South Eastern Railway (SER) 3-0.

Nupur, fresh from the World veterans’ championships, defeated John 3-1 in the singles. The latter, however, figured prominently in SWR clinching the Masters’ team title.

A. K. Mital, General Manager, South Western Railway, and Chief Patron, South Western Railway Sports Association and Mrs. Rashmi Mital, President, South Western Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation gave away the prizes.

A. Joseph Antony