Commonwealth TT: Sharath Kamal stunned by teenager; Sathiyan-Archana grab gold

Sharath Kamal lost to 17-year-old Pang Yu En Koen of Singapore in the quarterfinals; G. Sathiyan & Archana Kamath defeated Pang & Goi Rui Xuan in the mixed doubles final.

India's Sathiyan Gananasekeran and Archana Kamath with the trophy after winning the mixed doubles final at the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship in Cuttack on Sunday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

G. Sathiyan and Archana Kamath may have helped India sign off the penultimate day’s proceedings of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship on a golden note, bagging the mixed doubles title in the last match of the day at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, but it was the 17-year-old Pang Yu En Koen of Singapore who stole the honours on Sunday by stunning second seed and favourite A. Sharath Kamal in a sensational quarterfinal.

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Pang Yu En Koen in action against Sharath Kamal during their men's singles quarterfinal on Sunday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Pang, one of the most promising paddlers in Singapore, had to enter the main draw through a tough qualification group on Saturday. He continued in the same vein by first edging past Manush Shah in a pulsating round of 32 that stretched till the deciding game and followed it up by upsetting seventh seed Olajide Omatoyo in four straight games.

He ended the day on a perfect note by staging a sensational comeback against Sharath.

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Despite struggling with a severe backache, Sharath left a nearly-packed stadium and Pang, ranked No. 376, spellbound with his unbelievable spree on winners in the fourth game to race to a 3-1 lead.

However, the young Singaporean came back strongly and forced Sharath into unforced errors.

In the deciding game, Sharath’s experience came to the fore and he had three match-points, serving at 10-7. However, Sharath missed the serve and it sparked a five-point run for Pang that culminated with his celebrating one of the biggest wins of his career.

Sharath had earlier ended up on the losing side with Sreeja Akula against Pang and Goi R.X. in the mixed doubles semifinals.

While Pang and Goi couldn’t repeat the magic against Sathiyan and Archana in the final, Pang will be hoping to give Harmeet Desai a run for the money in the singles semifinals on Monday.

The results: (‘Ind’ unless specified)

Mixed doubles: Final: G. Sathiyan & Archana Kamath bt Pang Yu En Koen & Goi Rui Xuan (Sgp) 11-1, 11-7, 11-4;

Semifinals: Sathiyan & Kamath bt Harmeet Desai & Ayhika Mukherjee 11-2, 11-2, 11-9; Pang & Goi bt A. Sharath Kamal & Sreeja Akula 13-11, 8-11, 6-11 11-8, 11-4.

Singles: Quarterfinals:

Men: G. Sathiyan bt Bode Abiodun (Ngr) 11-7, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6; Thomas Jarvis (Eng) bt Sanil Shetty 11-5, 11-8, 8-11, 13-11, 12-10; Harmeet Desai bt Sushmit Sriram 11-4, 11-8, 6-11, 11-7, 11-8; Pang Yu En Koen (Sgp) bt A. Sharath Kamal 7-11, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 12-10.

Women : Ho Tin-Tin (Eng) bt Archana Kamath 11-9, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-6; Ayhika Mukherjee bt Mousumi Paul 11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8; Sreeja Akula bt Sutirtha Mukherjee 11-5, 11-6, 11-9, 17-19, 6-11, 17-15; Madhurika Patkar bt Krittiwika Sinha Roy 11-4, 9-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9

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