Muscat: Teenager Shounak Kelkar proved the pundits wrong when he captured the men’s singles title at the Villeroy & Boch +Hansgrohe Open Table Tennis Tournament organised by the Indian Social Club (ISC).
The talented schoolboy Shounak Kelkar played with poise and showed sound temperament when he faced seasoned Spaniard George Lopez in the men’s singles final.
As the battle of experience vs raw talent livened up the atmosphere at the venue, it was Lopez stamped his authority and won the first game.
Shounak recovered from the slow start and showed doggedness as he rallied from 7-9 in the second game to gain game point which Lopez saved. Lopez saved yet another game point but Shounak showed brilliant reflexes and converted the next to make it one-game-all.
Shounak played with positive intent and breezed through the third game. The fourth game was a cliffhanger as scores went neck-and-neck before Shounak edged past the Spanish veteran. A tense battle followed thereafter with Shounak playing more freely to win the fifth game to lift the men’s singles title with final scores of 6-11, 14-12, 11-3, 12-10, 11-9.
The men’s doubles final contested between the all-Egyptian teams was won by the duo of Mahmood Sami and Ahmed Abdul Azeem with a 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 6-11, 11-4, 12-10 win over Samer Ahmed and Hossam Yaseen.
Chief guest Franz-Josef Dicken, Deputy Head of Mission at Embassy of Germany, handed over the prizes to the winners along with Rakesh Adlakha, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of India. Also present on the occasion were CM Saardar, Vice-Chairman of the Indian Social Club, R. Murali of sponsors Al Amana Building Materials Company, and Rizwana Aziz, representative of Villeroy & Boch.