Pune: Nikhil Kanetkar Badminton Academy’s (NKBA) Upendra Fadnis, Dr Rahul Kallianpur and Aditya Kale kept the NKBA flag flying high as they clinched respective titles at the PDMBA Veteran District Badminton Championship 2022 which concluded at the PDMBA Modern Sports Complex on Sunday.
Upendra Fadnis put up a brilliant performance as he clinched a triple crown in the MD45, MS45 and XD35 categories. Meanwhile, Dr Rahul Kallianpur emerged victorious in the MD45 category and Aditya Kale walked home with the MS35 title.
In the MD45 final, the pair of Dr Rahul Kallianpur and Upendra Fadnis defeated Ameet Tare and Siddhartha Nivsarkar 23-21, 15-21, 24-22.
In the MS45 action, Upendra Fadnis defeated Sachin Phadke 21-8, 21-17 to emerge victorious.
The XD35 final witnessed Upendra Fadnis and Radhika Ingalhalikar getting a walkover from Apurv Gokhale and Manjusha Sathaye.
In the MS35 encounter, Aditya Kale defeated Jayant Parkhi 18-21, 21-18, 21-19 to finish on top.
Speaking after the win Upendra Fadnis said “This is the first district championship in Pune that I have played having moved to the birthplace of badminton 3 years back. The tournament was well organised and schedules were kept keeping the working players in mind, in the evening. It is a great feeling to have won 3 titles, especially the men’s doubles 45+, which was a nail bitter, going down to the wire. We were able to hold our nerves and prevail 24-22 in the third game against some spirited competition.”
“Dr Rahul Kallianpur, my partner played exceedingly well throughout the tournament, coming back from injuries and surgery and that is most satisfying as we managed to finish the crossing line. The contribution of NKBA – Nikhil Kanetkar and the team of dedicated coaches, needs to be applauded, for their sincere dedication not only to professional players but also to the corporate players like us, that has kept us in good shape and touch to be playing at this level,” Fadnis added.
“Overall, the masters’ circuit is buzzing and more and more yesteryear’s players are coming back on the court and making the game competitive and exciting, at the same time motivating youngsters to carry on. Playing any sport is so crucial to keep one’s balance and helps in all aspects of life, professionally and personally,” Fadnis said. Speaking after the win Dr Rahul Kallianpur said ”Playing the District Championship has been an exhilarating experience especially after being painfully off the game competitively with crippling injuries for 2 years and then the COVID surges halting all tournaments. To eventually win the tournament after a 4-year layoff from competitive play is truly an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. It is also a brilliant testament to all the hardworking and dedicated coaches at NKBA who constantly trained and encouraged us each and every day. I wholeheartedly thank everyone at NKBA and Nikhil sir for their constant support and encouragement. Finally, I would like to thank my wonderful and champion partner Upendra Fadnis who ultimately made the win possible. Without him, this would not have been possible.”