Stylish and Evergreen Prakash Kelkar popularly known as PG, won the finals of the Veterans 39+ event in the JVPGC-All-Mumbai 4-Star ranking table tennis tournament, hosted by Juhu Vile Parle Gymkhana Club here today. For veterans this tournament is having special significance, as the best performers are considered for the selection in the Mumbai Super league TT event held every year. However, the organizers had kept a very tight schedule for this event.
On Wednesday the first three round matches which began around 9.45 pm were stretched till 12 midnight. And today, the quarter finals, semi finals and finals were played one after the other, within a space of 90 minutes. Early morning tomorrow all these players have to report for their team matches at MIG Veterans TT Tournament.
But, the enthusiasm of the Veterans was really worth appreciating. The match between Dinkar Shelarka now nearing 59 and 61 year old Prakash kelkar almost matched the standard of Men’s singles quarter finals, as it was stretched to well contested five games, with Prakash scoring a narrow win over Dinkar alias Pappu. At one stage Dinkar had comfortable margin of lead, but Prakash applied his skills to overcome the strong resistance from his ever smiling opponent.
The other quarter finals in Veterans’ between Sameer Bhate and Nitish Kumar also turned out to be a good battle, with Sameer overcoming the challenge from Nitish, by winning the match at 3-2. In the other two quarter finals, Percy Mehta knocked out hard hitter Jayant Kulkarni 3-1, only to lose 1-3 in following semi finals against Prakash kelkar.
Harish Shirsat who beat Suhas Rane 3-1 in 4th quarter finals, went on to stop the run of Sameer Bhate scoring 3-0 win over him in second semi finals. The finals played between Prakash kelkar and Harish Shirsat however turned out to be a one sided affair with little resistance offered by Harish against more consistent Prakash, who won the finals 3-1 to lift the title .
By the way, Prakash recently returned with three Gold medals from the South Asian Veterans’ TT Championship held in Colombo, Sri Lanka