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Pain and gain for badminton veteran Palekar

Updated on: 05 May,2023 08:28 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sundari Iyer |

Despite not recovering fully from bursitis, former India shuttler Mangirish clinches 45+ singles title and two runners-up honours at GD Birla Memorial Masters Inter-Club Badminton Tournament

Pain and gain for badminton veteran Palekar

Mangirish Palekar with his 45+singles title and the two runners-up trophies he won at the GD Birla Memorial Masters Inter-Club Badminton Tournament recently

Winning a singles titles in the 45+ category and silver medals in the 45+ Doubles (each player is above 45) and the 85+ Doubles (the combined age of both players should be more than 85) in the recently-concluded GD Birla Memorial Masters Inter-Club Badminton Tournament, has helped former India shuttler Mangirish Palekar, 45, relive his old days of playing for the country. 

The win at the Bombay Gymkhana-hosted tournament was special considering he hasn’t fully recovered from bursitis, a condition that caused pain and swelling in the the area around a joint or bone.

Palekar registered a 21-14, 21-14 win over Shailesh Daga in the final in the men's singles 45+ category.

In the men’s doubles 45+, Palekar teamed up with Dr Gautam Laud, losing the final to Ayaz Bilawala and Daga 11-21, 23-21, 20-22.

In the men’s doubles 85+, the pair of Prasad Shetty and Rajesh Bhanushali beat Deepak Jaitley and Palekar 16-21, 21-13, 21-12.

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Unlike before, being on the court gives him more joy than the outcome. "It's not the win or the loss that matters now, but being on the court does. I am glad that during the GD Birla I was able to overcome the excruciating pain caused due to bursitis [in my left leg] and managed to play. These titles were the cherry on the cake," he remarked.

Competing on court takes Palekar (who last played for India at the 1998 Asian Championships in Bangkok) to the old times.

“I participated in many state and club tournaments after 1998.

But I had not played any tournament for the last six years (before the recent Bombay Gymkhana one) as I was busy in the administration of the sport, coaching and COVID-19 [prevented me from playing].

“Playing back-to-back matches over the weekend reminded me of the glory days of my badminton career. Unfortunately, I couldn't recuperate as quickly as I used to back then," said Palekar, who coached the Maharashtra men's team from 2009 to 2015.

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