Indian table tennis duo of Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran earned a silver medal for the nation at the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The sub-continental pairing of Sharath and Sathiyan went down to the English duo of Liam Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall in front of their home crowd 2-3 in the final of the men’s doubles table tennis event.
The Indians started the finals with a well-deserved 11-8 win over the pair of Pitchford and Drinkhall to set the tone for the evening.
The home side rushed to a 5-point lead in the second game as they were up 6-1 at one point. But, the resilient combination of Sharath and Sathiyan fought back to cut the lead to a mere point at 5-6. They pushed the game to 8-9 before Pitchford and Drinkhall closed out the game strongly to peg the Indians back at 1-1.
The English pairing went on to win the following game 11-3 to establish a 2-1 lead in the gold medal fixture.
Sharath and Sathiyan came back strong in game four as they dug deep to take the win 11-7 to restore parity to the fixture at 2-2.
In the all-important fifth game to decide the title, the Englishmen ran out winners by a score of 11-4 to bag the gold.
Sharath and Sathiyan started their campaign against the team from Guayana, represented by Joel Alleyne and Jonathan van Lange. The Indian team stormed to a 3-0 defeat as they never looked troubled to claim their first win in CWG 2022.
The result of 11-2, 11-6, and 11-6 in the opening fixture helped set a pace for the Indians in the tournament.
Their next game was against the Bangladeshi team of Ramhimlian Bawm and Mohutasin Ahmed Ridoy. Sharath and Sathiyan picked up where they had left off to register another 3-0 win as they stormed to an 11-6, 11-1, 11-4 victory.
In the quarter-final of the men’s doubles event, Sharath and Sathiyan steamrolled over their English opponents Tom Jarvis and Sam Walker as they romped to an 11-6, 11-8, 11-4 triumph to continue their 3-0 winning pattern for a third straight game.
The highly touted Indian pair faced their first real test of the camping in their semi-final match against the Australian duo of Nicholas Lum and Finn Luu.
The hitherto unbroken Indian team were pushed to five games for the first time in the tournament as they were made to work in a 3-2 win that culminated with a score of 8-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-1, 11-8 to book their place in the gold medal match in Birmingham against the English.
The Indian table tennis contingent claimed the yellow metal in the men’s team event earlier in this edition of the friendly games with a dominant 3-1 triumph over Singapore to earn the top podium position.