Commonwealth Games 2022: Table-tennis | India beats Singapore; retains men’s team gold

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

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

India’s paddlers retained their men’s team championship title with a convincing 3-1 win over Singapore in the Commonwealth Games at Birmingham on Tuesday.

After Sharath Kamal’s shock loss to southpaw Clarence Chew, Harmeet Desai put on a stunning show against Chew to seal the deal in India’s favour.

The final was a repeat of the group-stage affair between the two CWG table tennis powerhouses. With India having trumped Singapore 3-0, the latter changed its combination.

The reliable duo of Harmeet and G. Sathiyan got India off to an ideal start, with a 3-0 win in the lone doubles rubber against Koen Pang and Izaac Quek. While Sathiyan was solid with his forehand topspins, Harmeet stole the show with his backhand blocks to give India the lead.

Superb move

Singapore head coach Gao Ning pitted Clarence Chew against Sharath. And the move worked wonders as the southpaw caught Sharath off guard in the duo’s first meeting in eight years. Clarence used his angles effectively to race to a win in four games.

It was India’s first loss of a rubber in the team championship. But Sathiyan put India into ascendancy with a sublime show against Peng in the crucial rubber. And he showed all his skills by staying close to the table to find Peng wanting.

Harmeet then put the cherry on top with a heroic show against an in-form Clarence.

The Surat paddler started off on an aggressive note in the first game to put Clarence on the backfoot.

And the Singaporean could never recover afterwards as Harmeet raced to a 3-0 win to set off deserving celebrations.

It was India’s seventh table tennis gold in Commonwealth Games ever since the sport was included in the quadrennial extravaganza in 2002. Sharath, the 40-year-old veteran, has been involved in each of five men’s gold medals.

The results (final):

India bt Singapore 3-1 (G. Sathiyan/Harmeet Desai bt Koen Pang/Izaac Quek 13-11, 11-7, 11-5; A. Sharath Kamal lost to Clarence Chew 11-7, 12-14, 11-3 , 11-9; Sathiyan bt Pang 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4; Harmeet bt Clarence 11-8, 11-5, 11-6).

Mamata congratulates the team

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, congratulated the Indian table tennis team for winning gold in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in UK’s Birmingham.

She described their win as an “incredible success” which was “well-deserved”.

“Congratulations to the sportspersons! Men’s table tennis team comprising Sharath Kamal Achanta, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Harmeet Desai & Sanil Shetty won gold at CWG 2022. Their incredible success is well-deserved. This milestone will inspire many across the nation,” Ms. Banerjee tweeted.

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