40 and going strong: Sharath Kamal wins singles gold at CWG 2022 after 16 years
Veteran Sharath Kamal extended his domination at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham by winning the gold medal in men's singles event, thrashing England's Liam Pitchford 4-1 in the final.
Age is just a number, as 40-year-old veteran Indian paddler, Sharath Kamal demonstrated by capping off his best-ever performance at the Commonwealth Games by taking home the gold in men's singles on Monday in Birmingham.
After losing the first game that he should have closed, Sharath beat a much younger yet experienced Liam Pitchford of England 11-13, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8 at the NEC arena.
Sharath, who initially won the singles gold medal in 2006, also won two golds with Sreeja Akula in the team and mixed doubles competitions. With this yellow metal, he increased his tally to a staggering 13 medals across five CWG appearances.
In the championship, he was at his best, scoring goals from both sides. Sharath prevailed in most of the prolonged rallies that took place away from the table. He also did a fantastic job of ending points quickly with well-placed backhand winners.
Sharath led 6-1 in what ended up being the decisive game of the title match when Pitchford won the finest rally of the contest to close the gap to 5-6.
After the timeout, Sharath handled the pressure to make it 10-6. The ball was close to Sharath's body when he recovered it, thus the umpires gave his opponent the point when he thought he had converted his second match point. He made the following one to cap up a great run in Birmingham.
G Sathiyan secured the bronze after a marathon battle against England's Paul Drinkhall. Sathiyan bagged his maiden CWG singles medal after beating home-favourite Drinkhall 4-3 in front of a packed crowd. The Indian thus avenged his men's doubles final loss against the same opponent by winning 11-9, 11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 10-12 and 11-9.
The bronze was Sathiyan's sixth overall medal at the CWG since Gold Coast 2018. On Sunday, Sathiyan paired up with the Sharath to claim the men's doubles silver after going down to the English duo of Drinkhall and Pitchford.
(With inputs from PTI)