The superlative performance by the Indians at the Hangzhou Asian Games has inspired the AIPA-led Indian Pickleball team to bring more glory for the country at the Asia Pickleball Games 2023 held at Taichung in Taiwan from October 6-9, 2023.
The recently concluded Asia Pickleball Games-2023 (APG-2023) was organized by the Asia Federation of Pickleball (AFP) in association with the Chinese Taipei Pickleball Association. All India Pickleball Association (AIPA), which is one of the founding members of the AFP had sent a strong contingent of 37 players to compete in different categories at the tournament. Arvind Prabhoo, President of International Pickleball Federation (IPF) and also the President of AIPA, accompanied the players to Taiwan.
Besides India, players from Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Phillipines, Korea, Hongkong, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam participated in the tournament.
AIPA had conducted a selection trial in Mumbai in the month of August, 2023 to select the players for the APG. More than 50 players were shortlisted in different age categories from whom 37 players were finally selected. There were three age categories- 16+, 35+ and 50+. In each category of this Pickleball tournament, players competed in Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles.
India won a total of 9 medals- 4 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze. The winners are:
Aditya Ruhela- Gold in the 16+ Men’s Singles
Won 6-11, 11-3, 11-4 against Leander Lazaro from Phillipnes.
Vishal Jadhav- Gold in the 35+ Men’s Singles
Won 6-11, 11-10, 11-0 against Nguyen Anh Thang from Vietnam.
Tejas Mahajan & Vanshik Kapadia – Gold in 16+ Men’s Doubles
Won 11-7, 11-7 against Chen Chih Kuan & Tsai Shih from Taiwan.
India Team Brahma – Gold in 16+
Won against India Team Vayu.
India Team Vayu- Silver in 16+
Lost against India Team Brahma.
India Team Agni- Silver in 35+
Lost against Team Taiwan.
Thakurdas Rohira – Silver in the 50+ Men’s Singles
Lost 6-11, 2-11 against Hwang, Yeong Ding from Taiwan.
Himansh Mehta & Vrushali Thakare – Bronze in 16+ Mixed Doubles
Won 11-6, 11-6 against Vanshik Kapadia & Urvi Abhyankar from India.
Mihir Khandelwal & Isha Lakhani – Bronze in 35+ Mixed Doubles
Won 11-7, 11-8 against Ping Boon Chia & Macy Guo from Singapore.
Keeping in mind the upcoming international tournaments, AIPA will continue to nurture and provide the best facilities for the talented Indian Pickleball players to excel in their goal. Speaking on the occasion, Arvind Prabhoo expressed his pleasure in India dominating the sport at Asia level. He said that he would like the Indian players to train hard and win the US competitions, regarded by many as the final frontiers.