Loyola's Bertram romp

Ajay Selvaraj with the tennis singles trophy. He also claimed the doubles crown in partnership with S. Aswin. -- Pic. R. RAGU-

LOYOLA COLLEGE has always been in the forefront in producing sportspersons. The Bertram Memorial tournaments, which the College conducts every year, have been a huge success, overcoming numerous hurdles along the way. The 71st edition saw the host dominating the event emerging triumphant in five of them, thereby bagging the Ethuraj Trophy (Champion College).

Loyola finished first in ball badminton, tennis (singles and doubles), basketball and volleyball to log 43 points. M. Bhargav of PSG Arts (Coimbatore) clinched the table tennis singles title defeating R. Abishek (Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, Nungambakkam). R. Abishek had some consolation when he partnered Tarun George (PSBB) to win the doubles.

Loyola College, which won the basketball title. -- Pics. R. RAGU-

Ajay Selvaraj of Loyola College won the tennis singles and also the doubles in the company of Aswin. In the singles final, Ajay was stretched to five sets by Siddharth Hande of St. Michael's Academy, before the Loyola College B.Com student pulled up his socks to post a win in just under three hours. Earlier, Ajay and Aswin emerged winners in doubles posting a comfortable win over another Loyola duo, L. S. Anantha Bhaskar and Kishore.

Loyola came up trumps in ball badminton defeating St. Joseph's College (Tiruchi) in the final. The most popular event in Bertram is basketball, and the host did not disappoint in front of a vociferous crowd as it came up with a majestic performance overcoming MCC Boyd's College in the final.

Ram S. Krishnan won the chess event.

The Bertram Memorial tournaments provide a lesson for Tournament Directors and organisers in general on how an event of such a magnitude should be run without any major hitch. "This is perhaps the only (inter-collegiate & inter-school) tournament in India which has been running successfully for the last 70 years without a break," said the Principal, Rev. Fr. Joseph Xavier, during the valedictory function.

But the perennial problem being faced by the organisers is walkovers from outstation teams, which withdraw when confronted with a tough draw.

S. Vijayakumar, Physical Director, Loyola College, and the Tournament Secretary, said that the issue is being viewed with concern and that the Committee is considering slapping fines on the teams that don't turn up. The college can also consider reducing the tennis singles and doubles matches to best of three sets instead of five.

The results (all finals):

Tennis (singles): Ajay Selvaraj (Loy.) bt Siddharth Hande (St. Michael's Academy) 6-4, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3; (doubles): Ajay Selvaraj & S. Aswin (Loy.) bt L.S. Anantha Bhaskar & S. Kishore (Loy.) 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.

Table tennis (singles): M. Bhargav (PSG Arts, Cbe) bt R. Abishek (PSBB) 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-5; (doubles): Abishek & Tarun George (PSBB) bt Anish Shankar & S. A. Prashanth (PSBB) 14-12, 11-4, 11-8, 11-7.

Basketball: Loyola bt MCC Boyd's College (Chennai) 75-54.

Volleyball: Loyola bt St. Joseph's College `A' (Tiruchi) 25-23, 25-19, 25-18.

Ball badminton: Loyola bt St. Joseph's College (Tiruchi) 29-27, 29-19. — K. Keerthivasan