Putting an end to the dominance of six-time champion Sharath Kamal (PSPB), his junior compatriot, Amal Raj, outclassed the former Commonwealth Games champion 4-2 in a thrilling final to win the singles crown in the Senior National Championships here on Sunday.Top ranked Poulami Ghatak too broke the run of defending champion K Shamini in the women’s singles title clash with a fascinating 4-0 win.
The excitement of winning his maiden title was such that Amal Raj even jumped on the table, drawing a yellow card from the chair umpire, which turned to red as the champion failed to pay heed to the warning. Amal Raj now faces the possibility of losing 25 per cent of his winning purse (R2.10 lakh) as penalty.
“That wasn’t intentional. It all happened in excitement and I really don’t mind even if I lose a part of my match fee,” said Amal Raj.
“Winning is always important, but winning the national title and that too against Sharath Kamal is the most exciting moment of my life.
“I was sure of beating Sharath especially after my win against him in the inter-institutional event three months back,” said Amal Raj, who had a golden double when, pairing with Sanil Shetty, the duo beat Harmit Desai and Devesh Karia 3-2 in the doubles final.
K Shamini looked a bit rusty against Poulami, who wanted to win it for her family, especially after her husband, Soumyadeep Roy, lost in the quarterfinals.
“I had no plans for the match, but I wanted to win it for my family,” said Poulami. “I was a bit disappointed after Soumyadeep’s defeat so I decided to remain focussed.”