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Friday, 17 June 2016

Navy officer becomes 1st Indian to win racketlon competitions


NEW DELHI: Commodore Ashutosh Pednekar's passion for racket sports and perseverance has led to him becoming the first Indian in sports history to participate and win international tournaments in the sport of racketlon. At the recently concluded competitions in Denmark and Belgium, he made the country proud by clinching gold medal in both the men's amateur and the veterans (plus 45) categories at the Nordic Racket Games held at Vejen, Denmark on May 28 and 29.
Then at prestigious Super World Tour - King of Rackets tournament held at Oudenaarde, Belgium from June 3 to 5, he once again proved himself by bagging gold in plus 45 and silver in men's amateur category.

Though becoming increasingly popular internationally, racketlon is still a relatively young and unknown sport in India. It is modelled on the lines of decathlon/triathlon and is a combination sport comprising four racket games namely table tennis, badminton, squash and lawn tennis. 

The typical match comprises 4 sets of 21 points each in each of the above individual sports played in succession one after another. Winner is the player winning maximum points. Pednekar's stellar performance and its unique significance to the games has gone unnoticed due to lack of awareness about the game in India and absence of an active formal sports body to promote it. 

Never one to court spotlight, the unassuming naval officer for whom racket sports is second nature, has now set his eyes on winning gold medals at World Racketlon Championships scheduled later this year in November at Germany. 

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