Rediff.com  » Sports » India slay Singapore to retain CWG men's TT team gold

India slay Singapore to retain CWG men's TT team gold

Last updated on: August 03, 2022 07:00 IST
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India won the team gold for the first time in Melbourne in 2006 before repeating the feat in the Gold Coast Games four years ago.

Harmeet Desai celebrates victory over Singapore's Zhe Yu Clarence Chew in the third singles to seal the men's team Table Tennis gold medal for India at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday.

IMAGE: Harmeet Desai celebrates victory over Singapore's Zhe Yu Clarence Chew in the third singles to seal the men's team Table Tennis gold medal for India at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Harmeet Desai raised his game in the decisive singles as India's men's table tennis team retained its Commonwealth Games gold medal after a close fight against Singapore in the final, in Birmingham, on Tuesday. 

World No. 121 Harmeet outsmarted 133rd-ranked Zhe Yu Clarence Chew 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 in the third singles to ensure India's third gold men's team medal in CWG history.

 

The gold was India's seventh since the sport was first introduced at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The Indian quartet of Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sanil Shetty celebrate with their gold medals

IMAGE: The Indian quartet of Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sanil Shetty celebrate with their gold medals. Photograph: India AllSports/Twitter

India were expected to beat Singapore, but Chew accounted for veteran Sharath Kamal in the first singles to level the match 1-1.

Harmeet and Sathiyan had little difficulty in getting past Yong Izaak Que and Ye En Koen Pang in the opening doubles.

Sathiyan gave India a 2-1 lead with a 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4 victory over lower-ranked Pang.

The stand-out performance came from India's third player, Harmeet.

Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in action during their doubles match against Singapore's Yong Izaac Quek and Yew En Koen Pang.

IMAGE: Harmeet Desai and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in action during their doubles match against Singapore's Yong Izaac Quek and Yew En Koen Pang. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Sharath struggled to contain Chew but Harmeet went on the offensive against the left-hander and ensured he did not get room to go for his powerful forehand winners.

Harmeet's backhand was also on fire as he won most of the long rallies.

In the first singles, Sharath went down 7-11, 14-12, 3-11,9-11 to Chew.

Whenever, the Indian placed the ball deep on Chew's forehand, the return was a winner.

Two net chords helped Sharath in the second game but the Singapore paddler comfortably won the next two. 

India had beaten a stronger opponent in Nigeria on Monday, with Sharath stunning world number 15 Aruna Quadri. But his loss against a lower ranked opponent on Tuesday showed rankings do not matter much in a multi sporting event.

India won the team gold for the first in Melbourne in 2006 before repeating the feat in the Gold Coast Games four years ago.

It was also Sharath's 10th medal in the Games' history and he is set to add more with singles and doubles events to follow.

Earlier in the competition, the Indian women’s team, led by Manika Batra, suffered a major upset by Malaysia, going down 3-2 in the quarter-finals.

The men’s singles and doubles begin on Wednesday.

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ASIA CUP 2022

ASIA CUP 2022