Unassuming sixth seed Abdul Rahman of Uttar Pradesh corner all the glory recording an authoritative straight sets victory against international and fourth seed Zaheer Pasha of RBI (Reserve Bank of India) in the men’s singles final of the 49th LIC of India-Senior National Carrom Championship 2021-2022 at the Shree Halari Visa Oswal Samaj Hall, Dadar (East).
The National Championship is being organised by the All India Carrom Federation (AICF) and hosted by the Maharashtra Carrom Association (MCA) and is co-sponsored by ONGC, Indian Oil, Union Bank of India, Bank of India and Hindustan Petroleum.
The less fancied 27-year-old Rahman dished out a cool calculated performance to outshine the experienced Pasha and smoothly cruise to a deserving 25-0, 21-16 without much ado and clinch his maiden National crown.
In the women’s competition, international and fifth seed Kajal Kumari of PSPB (Petroleum Sports Promotion Board) overcame the spirited challenge from fourth seed Nilam Ghodke of JISL (Jain Irrigation System Limited) snatching victory in two closely contested sets at 15-12, 17-10 to emerge champion.
Pasha, who had knocked out teammate and top seed Prashant More in the semi-finals, was erratic and surprisingly missed some easy shots which proved to be his downfall. In contrast, Rahman played steadily and confidently executed his shots and gradually gained the momentum which he hung on to throughout the contest, which turned out to be a one-sided affair.
In the first set, Rahman settled down quickly and won the first six boards to pocket the set 25-0 and open up a 1-0 lead. Pasha showed signs of fighting back as he won the opening two boards to take an 8-0 lead in the second, but Rahman bounced back and steadily won the next three and with the 8 points won on the fifth board he jumped to a 20-8 points lead.
Pasha managed to win 4 points in the sixth to narrow the lead to 12-20, but he lost a close seventh board as Rahman led 21-12 going into the 8th and final board. Pasha was left with an uphill task of getting 10 points from the final board and he tried his best but lacked consistency and with that his hopes of staying alive faded away. Rahman capitalized on every chance to sink his black coins and ensure his success.
Meanwhile, Mantasha Iqbal of AAI (Airports Authority of India) defeated Debagani Tamuly of DASCB (Defence Accounts Sports Promotion Board) 8-25, 19-15, and 22-11 in the women’s third-fourth place match.
In the men’s third-fourth placing match, Maharashtra’s Sandeep Dive defeated World champion and top seed Prashant More of RBI 25-19, 18-1.