Table Tennis | Other Sports

CWG 2022 | Sharath signs off in a golden blaze of glory

Sharath Kamal on way to victory over Liam Pitchford and a third gold in Birmingham.

Sharath Kamal on way to victory over Liam Pitchford and a third gold in Birmingham. | Photo Credit: AFP

A. Sharath Kamal, the veteran paddler, regained the table tennis men’s singles gold at the Commonwealth Games after 16 long years with a convincing win against England’s Liam Pitchford.

Riding on his trademark brand of aggressive table tennis, Sharath overcame his old nemesis Pitchford 11-13, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8 in an exhilarating final to end what has been an ideal campaign for himself and the Indian men’s contingent.

 

Moments before Sharath took the show court, G. Sathiyan had ensured India for the first time had two paddlers on the podium in a singles event at the Commonwealth Games. Sharath’s stunning show meant he stood atop the podium for the third time in Birmingham.

Despite losing the opening game in a tie-break, never once did Sharath appear to be losing control of the match. Besides leaving Pitchford flummoxed with his variation of serves, Sharath also ensured he used the width of the table much better.

Here is the full list of Indian medal winners at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

Having earned a healthy lead in the fourth game, leading 2-1, a three-point streak meant Pitchford closed the gap with his powerful winners. A timely time-out at 6-5 meant Sharath returned with a change in tactic and closed the game out.

At 3-1, the writing was on the wall and Sharath scripted history in style, converting his second match-point to sprint to the gallery and give his younger brother Rajath a huge hug. Besides being his personal coach and performance analyst, Rajath — a former international paddler — also doubles up as Sharath’s sparring partner whenever required.

Here is the latest Commonwealth Games 2022 Medal Table: Top teams in Birmingham.

Having bagged the men’s team championship gold last week and mixed doubles gold partnering Sreeja Akula on Sunday night, Sharath thus became the first Indian paddler to win three gold medals at a CWG edition. He surpassed the previous record of two golds jointly held by himself in 2006 and Manika Batra in 2018.

G. Sathiyan displays his bronze.

G. Sathiyan displays his bronze. | Photo Credit: AFP

Earlier, Sathiyan overcame Paul Drinkhall in a nail-biting bronze medal playoff to win his maiden singles Commonwealth Games medal. Sathiyan thus ended the tournament with the men’s team gold, doubles silver and singles bronze.

India’s paddlers ended the Games with seven medals, including a gold and a bronze by Bhavina Patel and Sonalben Patel in para-table tennis.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 1:37:53 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/sharath-signs-off-in-a-golden-blaze-of-glory/article65746549.ece