New generation of players shines in thrilling Winter 2024 Carrom Championship

Ajay Arora winner of the singles carrom trophy at the NEUSCA Winter 2024 Carrom Championship held at Baymont by Wyndham Pompton Plains, NJ, from 19th to 21st of January 2024 . PHOTO: NEUSCA

Carrom enthusiasts in the United States were treated to the skill and sportsmanship of the game at the recently concluded North East US Carrom Association’s Winter 2024 Carrom Championship at Baymont by Wyndham Pompton Plains, New Jersey from January 19-21, 2024. A total of 117 players, including more than 10 newcomers and the youngest participant, 14-year-old Aditya Godugu, contributed to the success of the event.

The highlight was Pennsylvania player Ajay Arora’s victory, securing the coveted USA Rank #1, a press release from NEUSCA said. This achievement solidifies Arora’s position as the best in the country, with the majority of top-tier players from North America vying for the prestigious title.

The tournament was held  under the leadership of Director Roshan Rauff and Abul Shakeel Baig (President), Roshan Muhsin (Vice President), Arshad Shaik (Secretary), and Amaan Ghazaly (Treasurer). Their meticulous planning ensured a memorable experience for the entire carrom community, NEUSCA said in the press release.

Core Committee members of the NEUSCA tournament pose for a picture. From left, Roshan Rauff, Abul Shakeel Baig, Roshan Muhsin. PHOTO: NEUSCA

Beginning with practice sessions, the event featured a coaching session for kids by  Operational Director Sam Mallisetti, which included a shootout where participants were presented with certificates and tournament-grade strikers donated by Umakanth Pandurangaiah.

Kids’ coaching session participants. PHOTO NEUSCA

The competition was fierce during the Singles event on Saturday, with players engaging in battles after the Swiss Round Robin (SRR) league matches. Individual rankings determined the knockout divisions: Champions, Challengers, Enthusiasts, and Aspirants.

In the Singles grand finale on Sunday morning, Ajay Arora (PA) faced off against Louis Fernandes, a world-class player from Canada.

The Doubles grand finale saw Ishan Rizvi (Canada) and USA women’s superstar Preeti Jakhotia facing off against the formidable duo of multiple time USA champion Saravanan Babu & Venu Mukkera from Ohio. The competition went down to all three sets, with Rizvi  and Jakhotia clinching the doubles championship.

Participants at the NEUSCA championships held Jan. 19-21, 2024. PHOTO NEUSCA

Participants and attendees also enjoyed entertainment with Hindi and Sinhalese songs during breaks, curated by Roshan Muhsin and Ziyard Bawa. The visual screens were sponsored by Groove Entertainment. Cell Revolution provided mobile devices for live streaming, and media partners TV Asia and ITV Gold telecast updates on their news channels. Participants were provided meals throughout the event. Hospitality was sponsored by Pariwaar Delights and Dosa & Biriyani House. uality tournament jerseys were provided to players, courtesy of Mohamed Masood’s sponsorship. Long-term supporters Mohamed Masood and Kareem Rayani were acknowledged.

Doubles winners at the NEUSCA tournament, Ishan Rizvi and Preeti Jakhotia. PHOTO: NEUSCA

The tournament’s smooth execution was credited to the USCA 2.0 software, significantly reducing manual efforts. NUESCA thanked USCA and Naveen Chandran for their unwavering support. Chief Referee Atul Bhave and his panel, including Sam Mallisetti, Umakanth Pandurangaiah, Arun Kumar and Subramanian Laxminarayanapuram, played a crucial role in executing the tournament free of issues and conflicts and maintaining the spirit of the game.

Donors included Achuta Rayaporulu, Dr. Shivaram Gowdagere, Madhuveer Koindena, and the Westchester Carrom Association. Volunteers Prasanna Thiruvenkatachari, Geeta Natarajan, Tarique Hussain, and Talha Mohiuddin worked tirelessly.

Prabhu Raj, a long-term supporter of NEUSCA, who provided assistance whenever unexpected needs arose during the event, was acknowledged. Venue Manager Mary Antoniello and her crew at Baymont by Wyndham Pompton Plains, contributed to the success of the venue.

Vineetha Bukharia, president of ECCA team announced the USCA National 2024, is scheduled to be held at the same venue April 19-21.

Winners in Singles:

Champions group:

  • Winner: Ajay Arora
  • Runner: Louis Fernandes
  • Third Place: Kalyan Reddy Matcha

Challengers group:

  • Winner: Jayaprakash Jayaraj
  • Runner: Sam Mallisetti

Enthusiasts group:

  • Winner: Venu Mukkera
  • Runner: Arshad Shaik

Aspirants group:

  • Winner: Chetan Pabrekar
  • Runner: Raghuvir Bethelli

Winners in Doubles:

Champions group:

  • Winner: Ishan Rizvi and Preeti Jakhotia
  • Runner: Saravanan Babu and Venu Mukkera

Challengers group:

  • Winner: Ajay Arora and Ranjit Sapre
  • Runner: Jayaprakash Jayaraj and Udayashankar Jayaraman

Enthusiasts group:

  • Winner: Navin Chilakalapudi and Kishore Venkata
  • Runner: Mayuresh Bhoir and Razeen Rafaideen

Aspirants group:

  • Winner: Ziyard Bawa and Roshan Muhsin
  • Runner: Praney Mehta and Aditya Godugu




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