Sharath beats Walker, wins bronze

Veteran Indian paddler Sharath Kamal defeated England's Samuel Walker 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6-, 12-10 to win the men's singles bronze medal in table tennis in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Sharath Kamal poses with his bronze medal after defeating Samuel Walker in the bronze medal play-off on Sunday.   -  AFP

Veteran Indian paddler Sharath Kamal bagged the men’s singles table tennis bronze medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games with an 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6-, 12-10 win over England’s Samuel Walker on Sunday.

Though Sharath fell short of adding a gold medal to the one that he had won in his debut Commonwealth Games appearance in Melbourne in 2006, it was nevertheless a fair compensation for the most experienced player in the Indian side to overcome the heartbreaking loss he suffered against Nigeria's Aruna Quadri in the semifinals. Sharath had also won a medal of a similar hue in New Delhi 2010.

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Sharath looked well-prepared and displayed a wide range of shots during his win over Walker. He breezed through the first two games before Walker tried to get even by stealing the third.

Walker held momentum and threatened to take the fourth game as well, as he levelled the points and took the game into extension, but Sharath held his composure to hold on and emerge victorious.

Earlier in the day, the all-Indian loser’s final in mixed doubles turned out to be a totally one-sided affair as the team of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Manika Batra steam-rolled their way past Sharath and Mouma Das in straight sets to script a 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 win.

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India finished its table tennis campaign on top the medal tally with three golds, two silvers, and three bronze medals, ahead of Singapore which hauled three golds, two silvers, and one bronze medal.