Following the momentum got from the Women’s team, the Indian Men’s Table Tennis team did what wasn’t done for twelve years in Commonwealth Games- Yes, the team comprising Sharath Kamal Achanta, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai won the brightest medal defeating Nigerian team 3-0 in the finals.
With this the Indian Table Tennis has essayed history with golden colors, a history to recall for years, a legacy to inspire from for the upcoming table tennis players.
Matching the footsteps of their women’s team, Sharath Kamal Achanta, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai displayed a dominating performance against a heroic Nigerian team in the final, claiming victory 3-0. India had previously won a Gold Medal in 2006 at the Commonwealth Games hosted at the same country, though at Melbourne.
Sharath Kamal set the scene for India, defeating Abiodun Bode 4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-9, followed by Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, who put India up 2-0 by beating Segun Toriola 10-12, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4 in the singles, before teaming up with Harmeet Desai in the men’s doubles to finish the job in the doubles 11-8, 11-5, 11-3.
Speaking post the win, Sharath said, “I really was surprised in the first game how well Bode played, I made mistakes receiving his service and he had no problems with my service. From the second game onwards I changed my services, I served more to his backhand, not middle forehand and made sure I was the first to attack. At 10-7 in the fourth game I saw the winning post, I was rushing so at 10-9 I took the “Time Out”. I think we were lucky, it good we didn’t play Nigeria in the morning and of course we were fortunate Quadri Aruna did not play.”
Adding more words to his compatriot Sathiyan Gnanasekaran concluded, “In the first game I was ahead 10-6, I thought I’d won the game, I lost focus, I made easy mistakes, but I felt confident, I felt I was playing well. After losing the first game I said to myself start again from love-all. My legs were fast and I was quick to attack. He needed time to play his strokes, so I tried to give him no time. The doubles was perfect with Harmeet, we were strong from the very first point and we were able to win this amazing gold medal, which was our goal coming into these games.”
The individual events in Table Tennis begin tomorrow.