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Table Tennis Champion International Umpire Nimo Ramchand…

Ceylonese athletes Nimo Ramchand and Suresh Melvani
Ceylonese athletes Nimo Ramchand and
Suresh Melvani

Nimo Ramchand made his triumphant debut at  Table Tennis at the age of 12 on being selected as a member of St. Joseph’s College team in 1954.

Nimo represented St. Joseph’s from 1954 to 1959 improving on his performances each succeeding year and was awarded colours in 1955. In following the victory trail Nimo recorded some sterling performances in 1954 winning the coveted Mackenzie Plate and vanquishing S. S. Kumar in theYMCA Juvenile Finals. He was an automatic choice to represent the Ceylon Junior team at the All India
Championships held in Baroda in 1954 together with PB Perera. The duo
were joined by Buddy Reid for the All India Junior Championships hosted at
Guntur in the following year. In the Rankings that followed the Championship young Nimo clinched the No.10 spot a noteworthy feat. Nimo had a creditable track record during 1954 which served as a prelude to more laudable achievements in the years to follow.

In 1955 Nimo won the National Juvenile Singles and Doubles partnering Habib Somar. In the same year and in 1956 he annexed the YMCA Junior title proving his superiority beyond doubt. Nimo had the distinction of outclassing P. Ashok of
Madras in the Finals of the National Junior Singles Championships in 1956 and also won the Mackenzie House Doubles teaming up with Buddy Reid and overcoming the senior duo of Dick Schoorman and Chrys Gunaratne also former National Champions. Nimo, Buddy Reid and Mungho Melvani comprised the Junior team that represented Ceylon at the All India Championships held in Saharanpur in ’56.

In continuing his success saga Nimo was selected to captain the Junior team of 1957 for the All India Championships and also picked to play in the Seniors team with Dick Schoorman, Chrys Gunaratne, Norshi Lakdawala & Buddy Reid .It was a commendable performance for Nimo to continue leading St. Joseph’s in annexing the coveted Inter Schools Championships in 1958 with Harsha
Ullal and Gope Jiwatram as his team mates. In the same year Nimo represented Ceylon at the All India Championships in Ahmedabad. Nimo was appointed a School prefect in 1959 which culminated his school career and was ranked Ceylon’s No. 2, prior to his entering the Faculty of Engineering, University of Ceylon, in 1960.

Nimo Ramchand and Suresh Melvani (face to camera) of Ceylon beat G. R. Joshi and P. Sharma of Napal 3:0 in the first round of the men’s doubles at the tournament on Oct. 18
Nimo Ramchand and Suresh Melvani (face to camera) of Ceylon beat G. R. Joshi and
P. Sharma of Napal 3:0 in the first round of the men’s doubles at the tournament on Oct. 18

Nimo signalled his entry in the realm of TT at the University winning the coveted Triple Crown (Mens Singles, Mens Doubles & Mixed Doubles) in his first year (1960) and was awarded colours from 1960 to 1964 when he captained the team. He was a member of the University team that won the Inter-Club Champioships in 1961. and in the same year Nimo outclassed Paul Thambinayagam to win the National Mens Singles title. Nimo & Buddy Reid established an unassailable record winning the Mens Doubles at the Nationals in 1957, 60, 65 & 66 and
partnered ‘Double International” Suresh Melvani to win the title in 1964. In 1963
Nimo and Womens Singles Champion Frances Ratnayake emerged winners in
the Nationals Mixed Doubles event. It is on record that Nimo etched his name in
the annals of Table Tennis winning 7 National titles (Mens Singles/Doubles
and Mixed Doubles during the period 1957 to 1966 in the Seniors Group.

In the international circuit Nimo’s achievements could be summarised thus:

    • Represented Ceylon in ‘59 against the visiting Australians and won his
      Singles and Doubles matches:
    • Member of the Ceylon team at the All India Championships in Hyderabad in
      1960.
    • Represented Ceylon at the Asian TT Championships in Peking (’60) winning
      the Silver in Consolation singles losing to Park Sui. and securing a win over
      Korean Kim Chei Wha in the team event.
    • Member of team at the All India Championships in Bombay (’61).  Member of the National team in the inaugural Peking tournament (’64) together with Suresh Melvani & Sarath Gunaratne.
    • Represented Ceylon at the 1966 Asian games in Bangkok with Buddy Reid, Annesley Gomez & N. H. Perera all former National Champions.

In his profession Nimo was attached to the Ceylon Government Railway as an
Engineer from 1965 until 1974 when he migrated to Australia with his wife Gita whom he married in 1969. Nimo and Charlie Selvadurai were instrumental in forming the Nuwara Eliya District TT Association in 1968 and was its founder Secretary.

In the country of domicile Nimo made his debut in 1976 in the Australian & New Zealand Railway Carnivals as a member of the Victorian Railways and continued his annual participation until 1996. His string of successes at the popular Carnivals were: 1988- Winner of Veterans event and runner-up in Mens Singles
Winner of 4 Veterans titles a record to enthuse about. 1994 & 1996 Captained Victorian Railways team 1994 & 1996 – Member of All Australian team selected at the conclusion of the Carnivals. 1976 to 1996 -Member of the Victorian Railways team in Pennants organized under the aegis of Table Tennis Victoria at Albert Park.

In addition to his outstanding performances Nimo also devoted his talents and time in serving the game he had embellished qualifying as a full State Umpire in 1996 and National Umpire in 1998 Nimo umpired various matches at Australian Pro international events from 1997 to 1999. In the year 2000 Nimo scaled the
heights qualifying as an International Umpire and also as an International
Umpire for Paralympic events. Nimo rendered yeoman service to the game
he adorned in the capacity of International Umpire representing Australia at the Paralympic Games held in Sydney and Taipei, Commonwealth Championships in
New Delhi (2001) and Melbourne (2006). The World Masters Games in 2002 also witnessed Nimo Ramchand in action completing his circuit as an International Umpire on a very laudable platform.

Nimo Ramchand retired from Victoria Line as Senior Maintenance Planning Engineer in 1996 and his family comprises Gita (Lab manager/Beauty Therapist) daughter Nisha (Occupational Therapist) and son Nik (Lawyer/Engineer). Nimo & Gita are blessed with two grandchildren Joel (8) and Luke (6) who may well carry on the legacy of ‘Grand-Pa’ in the years yet to unfold.

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