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Navy officer Ashutosh Pednekar becomes first Indian to win 'King of Racquets' title

Pednekar defeated athletes from 24 other countries to win India's first Racketlon tournament.

Ashutosh Pednekar has created sporting history for India

The Rio Olympic fever is all set to hit India, with the country’s largest ever contingent participating later in August. With the sole focus now on potential medal winning sports, an unsung World Championship victory has gone unnoticed. Navy officer Ashutosh Pednekar has become the first Indian to win an international title in the sport of Racketlon.

The recently concluded Nordic Games in Denmark is a marquee event for Racketlon, which combines all four primary racquet sports in Tennis, Badminton, Table Tennis and Squash. Despite having a small active community, the sport is relatively unknown in India. However, Racketlon has become the ultimate test for the agile athlete, in both Europe and North America.

A match comprises of 4 sets of 21 points each, with each sport being played one after the other. Pednekar recently created history by winning gold at the Super Series in Belgium. Participating in the Men’s Veterans category (45+), Pednekar defeated athletes from 24 different countries to be crowned, “King of racquets,” in Belgium.

He said, “The major problem why people don’t know about this because there is no association. It is very popular abroad, but I think if I can create a name for India, it will rise in popularity, because we love our racquet sport. I am now preparing for the World Championship to be held in Germany in December.”

Ranked as a Commodore, the victory has also highlighted the Navy’s contribution to the lesser known sports in India.

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