Top-seed Singapore overcame a spirited challenge from England 3-1 to clinch the men's title in the Commonwealth Games table tennis at the Yamuna Sports Complex here on Saturday.
The final was world class. All the four matches were close and intensely fought.
But of the two teams, it was England which captured everybody's hearts in the Stadium. All the three players — Liam Pitchford, Paul Drinkhall and Andrew Baggaley produced fine performances.
Pitchford played the match of the championship in the first match against Gao Ning, World ranked 17. The 4-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11 victory augurs well for the 18-year-old.
Yang Zi provided a lifeline to Singapore when he put it across Paul Drinkhall 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-1. Ma Liang defeated Andrew Baggaley to put Singapore ahead.
Under pressure to deliver after losing to a teenager in the first rubber, Ning recovered to script a 8-11, 11-9, 11-1, 11-7 win to secure Singapore the gold.
There was some consolation for the Indian men's team. Champion in the last edition, India took bronze here defeating Nigeria 3-0 in the third place play-off match.
Sharath gave India the perfect start with a 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 win over Quadri Akinade Aruna in the first match.
Amalraj was near-perfect on counters making Merotohun Monday look pedestrian in a 11-4, 11-7, 11-4 win.
In the third rubber, R. Abishek troubled Seun Ajetunmobi no end with chops and slices that kept low.
Seun attacked in the first game and it worked for a while. As the contest wore on, Seun didn't have the energy or the patience to launch an offence against a paddler who chopped everything back.
Abishek prevailed 14-16, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games