TOP seed Dipal Bhana overcame some strong opposition to claim the Nelson Mandela Bay table tennis singles title in the weekend’s tournament at the Malabar Community Centre.
Playing his first year in the senior section after coming through the junior ranks, the 18-year-old Bhana underlined his talent by defeating eighth seed Shahied Mamoojee in the final. It was an exciting encounter, with Bhana eventually prevailing 11-5 11-4 11-7 9-11 13-11.
Earlier, Bhana faced second seed Michael de Kock in the quarterfinals and was pushed all the way before winning 6-11 10-12 11-7 11-8 11-8.
He then beat fifth seed Monde Cola 11-6 11-7 11-9 to reach the final.
In the men’s doubles event, the vastly experienced Booysens Pride pairing of De Kock and Vernal Higgins dominated the final by beating Mamoojee and Shahied Abrahams, from Aryan, 11-7 11-8 11-9.
Both doubles pairs produced play of a high quality, but the superiority of De Kock and Higgins came to the fore as they progressed from the round-robin phase through the knockout stages into the final.