by Simon Daish
The final was a showdown between two Petroleum Sports Promotion Board teammates as Kamal Sharath Achanta and Amalraj Anthony went head-to-head for the title.
Despite losing out in the opening game Achanta responded well and eventually came away victorious across five games (6-11, 11-6, 15-13, 11-8, 11-7) to lift the trophy for the eighth time, equalling Kamlesh Mehta’s record at the event.
“He was the first one I hugged after exiting the arena. I was sure he was as happy for me as anyone else. But I sincerely feel me doing it for eight times is much easier than him achieving it back then. Since I was a way ahead than the competition during my peak, I won many Nationals where I just had to go through the motions. He had to overcome tough competition from multiple players who were at the same level.” Sharath Kamal Achanta
Following the conclusion of the tie Kamlesh Mehta expressed his joy in seeing Achanta seal the title for the eighth occasion.
“That I could watch it live made it special for both of us. It was a long time due that the record had to be equalled. That Sharath managed to achieve the feat is fitting.” Kamlesh Mehta
There was a dramatic conclusion to the Women’s Singles competition as Sutirtha Mukherjee earned her first ever gold medal in the category.
Representing West Bengal, Sutirtha Mukherjee recovered from a match point down to defeat Petroleum Sports Promotion Board’s Manika Batra in the deciding game (11-4, 11-13, 11-6, 5-11, 11-2, 9-11, 12-10).
Petroleum Sports Promotion Board also proved victorious in the Men’s Team and Women’s Team finals.