Rai wins singles title

KATHMANDU: Kumodh Kumar Rai of India won the above-50 men’s singles title of the first South Asian Veterans Table Tennis Tournament here on Monday. Rai — the 1974 junior national champion of Nepal who later migrated to India with his family the following year — defeated Prakash Kelkar 11-9, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 in the best-of-seven all-India final at the National Table Tennis Training Centre. Nepal’s Kiran Shrestha and Ranjan Subba were joint third. India dominated the singles category when Bikash Mahajan and Neelam Narula won gold medals. Mahajan beat his countryman Dr Nitin Tosinwal 11-6, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 in above-40 men’s category, while another Indian Manmit Singh and Nepal’s Rajendra Kapali finished joint third. Likewise, Narula also defeated fellow Indian player Pratima Menon in women’s above-50 singles, while Nepal’s Dharti Shrestha and Hira Nakarmi came third. Nepal’s Indira Paudel Parajuli and Urmila Khadka won gold and silver in above-40 women’s singles, while Samjhana Pokharel and Sujita Adhikari finished joint third. A total of 62 players from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Maldives and Bangladesh took part in the three-day tournament organised by Nepal Veterans Table Tennis Association.