Nayyer Ali Syed from India is the newest champion of the Canada Open Carrom tournament held on the 14th and 15th of April 2018 at the Edward Village Hotel in Markham. It did not come easy for Nayyer as he had to overcome 3 times winner, our very own Canadian Louis Fernandes to the title.
Louis won the first game with a come back from behind win. After 6 boards Louis was trailing Nayyer 10-16, but he won the next 2 boards by 9 and 4 points to bag the first game 23-16 and take a sizeable lead of 8 points difference in the deciding 2nd game. This system of best of 2 games is a unique method used in Carrom Canada to decide the match in 2 games instead of the best of 3 games which delays the schedules and make the tournament time-consuming. This concept is not new and used extensively in the European soccer competitions, on a home and away deciding methods. Both players played defensive rather than their offensive style in the second game. Nayyer displayed a big finish in the last board winning the game 25-10. With the point difference of 13 Nayyer overcome Louis’ 8 points and won the match and the title.
The women’s crown was won by veteran Saroj Parikh of the USA beating Mississauga’s Martha Lawrence 9-5 and 23-8. This the first title for Saroj in her 4 attempts, whilst Martha suffered her 2nd loss in the finals. It’s interesting to note that 3 of the last 4 winners came from the USA. In the semis, Anita Prajapati lost to Martha and Bhavneet Kaur a previous champion lost to Saroj.
In the Men’s B division Ahmed Haris of Mississauga had an excellent tournament and won beating USA’s Mohammed Shamshaddin 25-2 and 5-16 in the finals. Previous 2 times winner Rama Pilla and Manuel Coelho finished joint third.
Nayyer told yours truly that he wanted to come to Canada early before the tournament and get used to the surroundings and win the competition. He fulfilled his goal and to add to the glory he partnered with Shad Ahmed and won the doubles title too. In the men’s doubles competition Shad and Nayyer defeated the USA pair Sekhar Challa and Venu Mukkera 13-12 and 25-12.
In the semis of the Men Singles event, Nayyer overcame another State player from India Basil Phillips 25-15 and 25-0, whilst Louis had to brush aside his fellow sparring partner Moaz Shaikh 25-7 and 11-0. For the 3rd place, Basil defeated Moaz 18-14 and 24-9. As expected USA’s Murali Balasubramanyam, Sekhar Challa, along with 2 other Canadian prospects Rupkrishna Dangol and Ahmer Ammar qualified.
In the men’s doubles semis, Shad and Nayyer beat Louis and Moaz 16-15 and 14-2, whereas Sekhar & Venu overcame Ahmer & Manuel in a tight encounter 16-12 and 5-6. The other quarter-finalists were Anurag Chanda and Derrick Silveira, Wajahat Mohammed and Mohammed Obaidullah, Anthony Royan and Rupkrishna and Basil and Oscar Phillips.
Men’s B Division doubles event was claimed by Mohammed Khader and Kareem Uddin. They beat their more experienced colleagues Ashfaq Ur Rahman and Abdul Qadeer in the finals. The 3rd place went to Rama Pilla and Sylvester D’Souza.
The team event featured 4 teams of 7 players each with 3 singles and 2 doubles matches were played simultaneously by each team against their opponents. Canada reigned supreme winning all their 3 matches 5-0, 4-1 & 3-2. The team comprised of Louis (Captain), Rupkrishna, Anurag, Moaz, Ahmer, Shad and Francis. They were followed by the International team, USA and Rest of Canada Open squad.
Mayor of Markham Frank Scarpitti was the Guest of Honour who presented the main awards to the winners. Regional Councillor Nirmala Armstrong, Councillor and Budget Chair Logan Kanapathi, Manager, Flato Development, Saqib Agar and D’Costa Financial Group’s, Bridget D’Costa also presented some awards.
The Mayor and the Councillors confirmed their support to Carrom Canada for the promotion of this sport and hosting the World Cup in the year 2020.