Commonwealth TT: Double delight for Indian paddlers

The women's team rolled over England 3-0, while Sharath Kamal and Co. produced a strong comeback to edge past England 3-2.

The victorious Indian men's and women's table tennis teams after their double-gold-medal feat at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in Cuttack.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

India’s men and women overcame England in contrasting finals to repeat their last year’s team championship double-gold medal feat at Commonwealth Games by lifting the glittering trophies on the third day of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship.

While the women rolled over England 3-0 in a one-sided contest to win a historic first gold for India in the tournament’s 48-year history, A. Sharath Kamal’s boys made a stunning comeback to edge past England 3-2 and retain their team title.

The men’s final turned out to be far more challenging than India anticipated. Perhaps the inexplicable delay in starting the match affected veteran Sharath but the World No. 32 suffered a shock defeat to England’s promising youngster Tom Jarvis, ranked 189 in the world. G. Sathiyan then led 2-0 against England’s main paddler Sam Walker but the latter made a stunning comeback to help England double the lead, leaving the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium gallery spellbound with his powerful backhand winners.

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Harmeet Desai then survived tense moments before overcoming England’s David McBeath to celebrate his birthday in style. An aggressive Sathiyan and a composed Sharath then saw India home by making short work of Jarvis and Walker, respectively, to help India win its third team championship.

Women, however, had it easy. After breaking eight-times defending champion Singapore’s run in the semis, Manika Batra, Archana Kamath and Madhurika Patkar sailed past the England girls without breaking sweat.

The results

Team Championship

Men

Final: India bt England 3-2 (A. Sharath Kamal lost to Thomas Jarvis 7-11, 8-11, 4-11; G. Sathiyan lost to Samuel Walker 11-5, 11-9, 4-11, 8-11, 8-11; Harmeet Desai bt David McBeath 4-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8; Sathiyan bt Jarvis 11-2, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4; Sharath bt Walker 15-13, 12-10, 11-6)

Semifinals: India bt Singapore 3-0 (Sharath bt Pang Yu En Koen 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5; Sathiyan bt Chew Zheyu Clarence 11-6, 11-8, 13-11; Desai bt Beh Kun Ting 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 11-8); England bt Malaysia 3-1 (Walker bt Wong Qi Shen 11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6; Jarvis bt Ashraf Muhamad Rizal 12-14, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7; McBeath lost to Leong Chee Feng 11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11; Walker bt Rizal 8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2)

Final standings: India, England, Singapore, Malaysia, Nigeria, Wales, Australia, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, South Africa, Bangladesh, Scotland

Team Championship winners in CTTF

Men: England 10, Hong Kong 4, Singapore 3, India 3, Nigeria 1

Women

Final: India bt England 3-0 (Archana Kamath bt Ho Tin-Tin 8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9; Manika Batra bt Denise Payet 11-6, 11-4, 11-3; Madhurika Patkar bt Emily Bolton 11-9, 11-7, 11-6).
Semifinals: India bt Singapore 3-0 (Batra bt Wong Xin Ru 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11; Kamath bt Goi Rui Xuan 7-11, 11-2, 11-8, 11-5; Patkar bt Lim Eunice oe 11-6, 11-7, 11-7); England bt Nigeria 3-0 (Ho bt Cecilia Akpan 11-9, 11-3, 11-4; Payet bt Offiong Edem 10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6; Bolton bt Ajoke Ojomu 7-11, 11-7, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9)

Final standings: India, England, Singapore, Nigeria, Malaysia, Australia, Wales, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Scotland, Bangladesh, South Africa

Team Championship winners in CTTF

Women: Singapore 8, Hong Kong 7, England 5, India 1