Paddlers complete SAG gold-silver medals’ sweep
Shillong, February 10: Indian paddlers, as expected, shared the entire gold-silver booty, leaving the lesser medals to the neighbours in the table tennis events of the South Asian Games which came to conclusion at the Nehru Indoor Stadium here this afternoon.
In all, India captured all the gold and silver medals on offer at the Games, including in the team event to end with five gold and four silver medals. All other teams— Afghanistan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka—in fray from the region finished behind hosts, with Sri Lanka taking the second spot on the medals tally.
The men’s singles gold went to national champion Anthony Amalraj as his opponent G. Sathiyan conceded the match in the fourth game owing to an injury. Until that stage, Sathiyan was leading 2-1 and when it was 2-2 in the fourth game, Sathiyan pulled out as he was unable to continue further in the match.
But Sathiyan and Devesh Karia earlier beat the top-pair of Amalraj and Sanil Shetty in straight games of 11-1, 11-8, 11-6 to win the men’s double gold. The other Indian pair had to be satisfied with the silver medal.
Nevertheless, the spectators were treated to one of the best finals and what missed out in the men’s singles final when former national champion Mouma Das defeated current title-holder and top-seed Manika Batra 4-2 to win gold in what was a thrilling final. Credit must go to Mouma for her perseverance which she combined with experience to outwit the 19-year-old Manika. When Manika levelled the score 3-3 and taking the issue to the decider, it looked Mankia had an upper hand over her rival. But the never-say-attitude of Mouma turned the tables against Manika to take the decider with minimal point to grab the gold.
Manika was very much in the game but the bold approach and some blistering forehands saved the day for Mouma, who recently entered the record books for being the most capped (15 appearances) player in world championships from Asia, along with Thailand’s Nathana Komwong.
However, Manika and Pooja Sahasrabuddhe had earlier claimed the gold beating the top-seeded duo of K. Shamini and Mouma Das in what was a one-sided women’s double final with a 3-0 verdict. Though Mouma and Shamini began badly losing the first game, they recovered in the second only to stretch their opponents. Once they led 2-0, it was a mere formality for Pooja and Manika to close out on Mouma and Shamini who were awarded the silver medals.
Men’s Singles: Anthony Amalraj (IND) bt G. Sathiyan (IND) 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 2–2 (Match conceded).
Men’s Doubles: G. Sathiyan and Devesh Karia (IND) bt Anthony Amalraj and Sanil Shetty (IND) 3-0 (11-1, 11-8, 11-6).
Women’s Singles: Mouma Das (IND) bt Manika Batta (IND) 4-3 (13-15, 12-10, 7-11, 15-13, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9).
Women’s Doubles: Pooja Sahasrabuddhe and Manika Batra (IND) bt Mouma Das and K. Shamini (IND) 3-0 (11-7, 13-11, 11-5).