CWG 2022: Social media on fire as India retains table tennis men's team gold
India won its fifth gold medal in the Commonwealth Games 2022. The Indians retained their men's team table tennis gold, India's 11th medal in the competition.
Indian paddler Harmeet Desai raised his game in the decisive singles, with the Indian men's table tennis team retaining its Commonwealth Games (CWG) gold medal following a close contest against Singapore in Birmingham on Tuesday. World no. 121 Harmeet outfoxed 133rd-ranked Zhe Yu Clarence Chew 11-8, 11-5, 11-6 in the third singles and ensured India's third men's team gold medal in its CWG history. The gold was India's seventh in the sport since its inception in Manchester 2002. India was expected to come out on top against Singapore, but Clarence accounted for veteran Sharath Kamal in the opening singles to level the series at 1-1.
Harmeet and Sathiyan had little difficulty getting past the Yong Izaak Que and Ye En Koen Pang duo in the opening doubles. Sathiyan gave India a 2-1 lead with a 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4 win over a lower-ranked Pang. However, the stand-out performance came from Harmeet. Sharath struggled to contain Clarence while Harmeet went on the offensive against the left-hander, ensuring he did not get the room to go for his mighty forehand winners. Harmeet's backhand was solid, winning a majority of the long rallies.
Sharath went down 7-11, 14-12, 3-11,9-11 against Clarence in the first singles. Whenever the ball was placed deep on Clarence's forehand by Sarath, the return was a winner. Two net chords helped Sharath in the second game, while Clarence won the subsequent couple effortlessly. On Monday, India beat a more potent opponent, Nigeria, with Sharath stunning world number 15 Aruna Quadri.
Yet, Sharath's loss against a lower-ranked opponent on Tuesday proved that rankings don't matter much in a multi-sporting event. India had won the team gold for the first time in Melbourne in 2006 before replicating the feat in Gold Coast 2018. It was also Sharath's 10th medal in CWG history, and he is looking to add more with upcoming singles and doubles events.
(With inputs from PTI)