Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Commonwealth Games 2018: Sharath-Sathiyan, Suthirtha-Pooja enter respective TT pre-quarters

Indian men matched the women to seal a memorable gold with a 3-0 win over Nigeria India's men's table tennis team during the semifinal of the mixed team event in the Commonwealth Games | PTI
Shannon Reynolds | 11 April, 2018, 19:25

Achanta Sharath Kamal has been the undisputed king of Indian table tennis for over a decade and the veteran paddler maintained his numero uno status when he led the national men's team to a Commonwealth Games gold after 12 long years in Gold Coast on Monday. Harmeet Desai defeated Geoffrey Loi (PNG) 11-4, 11-3, 11-1, 11-2, and Sathiyan Gnansekaran blitzed his way past Rameez Muhammed (Pakistan) 11-5, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3.

"(In) men's, we knew we had a good chance to win the gold while in the women's we knew we will be among the medals, but winning over Singapore is not something we (expected). Sathiyan Gnanasekaran had taken an equally challenging contest with Segun Toriola, as he had to battle hard for a 10-12, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 win to give India a 2-0 margin.

"We were disappointed when Sathiyan lost the opening game too". Top player Harmeet Desai was no match against the experienced Gao Ning 11-9, 11-5, 11-8.

When asked how crucial this win is for Indian TT, Sharath said: "This victory shows the sport in the country is improving". He had won the men's team event in 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne, Australia.

"Sathiyan especially has had a great year in 2017 and doing extremely well with being the highest ranked among us at No.47 in the world".

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"So with that pressure more on me as the captain of the team, I had to focus on my performance along with motivating the team to do well", he said. "Now, we must take this form into the World Championships (in Sweden from April 29 to May 6)".

"We have had sufficient funding from SAI which was utilised in the right manner by TTFI to help the players", he added.

After Manika Batra fired India to a historic triumph over Singapore yesterday, the Sharath Kamal-led men's outfit too beat the team from the city state 3-2 in the semifinals, played earlier today. "Only after that I can say how I rate my performance in this Games compared to previous editions".

Table Tennis Men's Team followed the footsteps of their female counterparts and emerge victorious in Gold Coast Games.

Mehta conceded he did not expect the women's team to beat Singapore, and termed this feat as fantastic.

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