Determined Pune lad Neil emerges Sub-junior champ

Neil Mule beats Amish Athavle 8-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9.

Determined Pune lad Neil emerges Sub-junior champ
The champion Neil Mule of Pune proudly poses with the champions’ trophy and certificate

Mumbai: Pune’s upcoming talent Neil Mule exhibited tremendous resilience and played with plenty of determination as he dished out some sterling performances to clinch the Sub-junior Boy’s singles crown in the Dr. Ramesh Prabhoo Memorial 82nd Maharashtra State Table Tennis Championship organized by The Suburban District Table Tennis Association.

The final, which was contested between left-handers, witnessed a tough battle for supremacy before Neil managed to prevail over Amish Athavle of Nanded in seven games pulling through at 8-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9, at the Prabodhankar Thackeray Krida Sankul, Vile Parle, Mumbai on Monday evening.

Earlier in the penultimate round, the Pune paddler fought back from the brink of defeat to turn the tables on home challenger Kushal Patel of The Suburban Table Tennis Association in a match that went the distance. The local boy started with a flourish and raced to a 3-0 lead by winning the first three games. But Neil staged a remarkable fightback and went on to win the remaining four games to snatch a come-from-behind 2-11, 4-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5 victory and advance to the final.

The second semi-final was another close affair Amish getting the better of Kushal Chopda of Nashik by a 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 3-11, 11-6 game scores.

There was some consolation for the Nashik lad Kushal as he defeated his namesake Mumbai’s Kushal 5-11, 12-10, 11-4, 12-10 in the third-fourth place encounter.

Results:

Sub-junior boys - Quarter-finals: Kushal Patel (TSTTA) beat Udit Sachdev (THN) beat 11-7, 7-11 11-2, 11-8;

Neil Mule (PNA) beat Gaurav Panchangam (THN) 13-11, 11-9, 11-4;

Amish Athavle (NDD) beat Swastik Atnikar (THN) 4-11, 11-8, 11-8, 3-11, 11-9;

Kushal Chopda (NSK) beat Sanskar Bask (TSTTA) 11-7, 11-6, 14-12.

Semi-finals: Neil Mule (PNA) beat Kushal Patel (TSTTA) 2-11, 4-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-9, 13-11, 11-5;

Amish Athavle (NDD) beat Kushal Chopda (NSK) 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-8, 6-11, 3-11, 11-6.

Final: Neil Mule (PNA) beat Amish Athavle (NDD) 8-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9.

Third-fourth place: Kushal Chopda (NSK) beat Kushal Patel (TSTTA) 5-11, 12-10, 11-4, 12-10.