Commonwealth TT: Harmeet stuns Sathiyan in summit clash

Desai - who had halted giant-killer Pang Yu En Koen’s run in the morning session at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium - stunned top seed G. Sathiyan in a thrilling men’s singles final.

Harmeet Desai receives the trophy from Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as G. Sathiyan looks on.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

Harmeet Desai and Ayhika Mukherjee lived up to their reputation of underdogs by scalping top guns to emerge victorious in men’s and women’s singles, respectively, on Monday, the concluding day of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship.

Desai - who had halted giant-killer Pang Yu En Koen’s run in the morning session at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium - stunned top seed G. Sathiyan in a thrilling men’s singles final that went right down the wire to cap off a memorable week on an ideal note.

Ayhika, on the other hand, continued her sensational run in singles by first sending top seed Ho Tin-Tin of England home in the semi-finals before virtually running over second seed Madhurika Patkar in straight games in the final.

Final Medals Tally

CountryGoldSilverBronze
India 753
England 203
Singapore 006
Malaysia001
Nigeria001

 

Strong Comeback

Desai made a strong comeback after conceding the first two games to favourite Sathiyan, the World No. 24, by levelling the match at two games apiece.

He then held nerves in the tie-break of the fifth, eventually clinching the game 17-15, using his forehand down-the-line winners at crunch moments. Sathiyan then bounced back to stretch the match into the decider.

Women’s singles champion Ayhika Mukherjee during the medal ceremony.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

 

At 3-all in the decider, with the chief guest entering the packed auditorium, the match had an unanticipated stoppage. Sathiyan then ran to a 6-3 lead but Desai regained his composure and finished the match in style combining his key weapon of down-the-line top-spin with back-hand punches.

Even before the final session began, India was assured of of a clean sweep of gold medals, with all four finals being an all-India affair.

That all four saw the favourites succumbing under pressure meant the table tennis lovers in Odisha had much to celebrate.    

The results: (India unless specified)

Men’s singles: Final: Harmeet Desai bt G. Sathiyan 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 17-15, 7-11, 11-9; Semifinals: Sathiyan bt Thomas Jarvis (Eng) 16-14, 11-6, 11-7, 11-9; Desai bt Pang Yu En Koen (Sgp) 10-12, 11-3, 11-6, 11-6, 11-2.

Women’s singles: Final: Ayhika Mukherjee bt Madhurika Patkar 11-6, 11-4, 11-9, 19-17; Semifinals: Mukherjee bt Ho Tin-Tin (Eng) 11-6, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4; Patkar bt Sreeja Akula 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, 14-12.

Men’s doubles: Final: A. Amalraj & Manav Thakkar bt A. Sharath Kamal & G. Sathiyan 8-11, 11-6, 13-11, 12-10; Semifinals: Sharath & Sathiyan bt Pang Yu En Koen & Chua Shao Han Josh (Sgp) 12-10, 11-4, 14-12; Amalraj & Thakkar bt Samuel Walker & Thomas Jarvis (Eng) 11-9, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5.

Women’s doubles: Final: Pooja Sahasrabudhe & Krtittwika Sinha Roy bt Sreeja Akula & Mousumi Paul 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 12-10; Semifinals: Sahasrabudhe & Krtittwika bt Goi Rui Xuan & Wong Xin Ru (Sgp) 11-7, 12-10, 11-9; Sreeja & Paul bt Sutirtha Mukherjee & Ayhika Mukherjee 11-8, 11-8, 11-6.