Poonacha shines at 50-plus tennis in Spain
From Napoklu to Spain, it has been a long journey for Palanganda Poonacha, aged 51 years, presently working for United India Insurance company in Bangalore. Poonacha recently secured the second place in the ‘consolation event’ at the World Individual Tennis Championship at Mallorca in Spain in the 50-plus age group.
Interestingly, Poonacha started playing tennis only when he was 34 years old. During his school days at Napoklu, he used to play hockey and volleyball.
After his graduation from Mysore Open University, Poonacha (pet name Nondove), started working and in the next 13 years did not have much time for sports as he was busy in the office work.
To keep himself fit, Poonacha decided to play tennis for one hour a day. Says Poonacha:”I used to watch matches on TV to learn more and more about the game. I was impressed by players like Pete Sampras and Tim Henman. I distributed sweets when Sampras won the Wimbledon.”
Since he played volley-ball in his younger days, he could tackle big serves from the beginning. He participated in the veteran national ranking tournament and qualified in all the three tournaments. “when I was 13 in the ranking, I went to play Asian seniors open 2004 at Bangkok,” he said.
In February,2006,he injured his leg while walking on J.C. Road in Bangalore and was out of competition for nine months. But he started playing in 2008 when he played Asian seniors open at Bangkok where he came to quarter-finals and lost to second seeded player from Japan. In 2008, he was ranked number four in the national ranking and 295 in the world ranking.
Poonacha’s latest win at Spain was the icing on the cake.
The moral of the story is ‘it is better late than never!’