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District table tennis tournament: Top seed Kovelamudi beats second seed Mulye in thrilling finale

Mulye started the matched strongly and within no time, he found himself two games up. Having dropped only 10 points en route to taking a 2-0 lead, the second-seed looked like he was poised for a remarkable victory in the finale.

pune Updated: May 31, 2019 17:07 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
pune,kovelamudi,mulye
Anaiy Kovelamudi in action at the Sharada district ranking table tennis tournament at the Sharada Sports Centre on Thursday.(HT PHOTO)

In an intriguing finale of the sub-junior boys, it was the top-seeded Anaiy Kovelamudi who reigned supreme against the second-seed Neel Mulye by a 7-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-5, 10-12, 11-8 scoreline to clinch the gold at the Sharada district ranking table tennis tournament 2019 held at the Sharada Sports Centre in Karve Nagar on Thursday.

Mulye started the matched strongly and within no time, he found himself two games up. Having dropped only 10 points en route to taking a 2-0 lead, the second-seed looked like he was poised for a remarkable victory in the finale.

However, once the top seed got his act together at the end of two games and a lengthy discussion with his coach, he began to play with more confidence and grace, which took Mulye by surprise. Kovelamudi played a number of attacking strokes and went on to win the next three games to hold a 3-2 lead in the contest.

There was to be yet another twist in the tale, when Mulye, against all odds, came back from the dead to surprise everyone and take the sixth game 12-10.

At one stage it looked like he had given in, but he kept pushing himself forward and successfully sent the final into a decider.

The final game was arguably the best one of the entire match with both players giving it their all, playing longer rallies up until the final point.

It truly was down to the one who blinked first would lose and unfortunately for the second-seed, a slight lapse in concentration at 6-6, swung the pendulum in favour of Kovelamundi, who held his nerve to win the tournament.

First Published: May 31, 2019 17:07 IST