Cuttack (Odisha) [India], July 20 (ANI): Both the women's and men's Indian team displayed an impressive performance to win the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday.
The women's team defeated Singapore 3-0 to dethrone the previous champions whereas men's team outclassed England 3-2.
In the men's match, England looked to change the script, but India's Harmeet Singh provided a twist to the tale and he helped the side defeat England.
As a result of this win, the men's team has extended their reign for the second successive time. The Indian men had won their first crown in Kuala Lumpur in 2004.
In the women's match, Archana Kamath began it all for India but it took some time for her to shake off rustiness to overcome Singapore's Ho Tin-Tin. Archana, when attacked on the forehand, found her returns going awry but her strong backhand rescued her against the Briton. After she won the extended second game, the Indian team never looked back to put themselves on a winning path.
Manika Batra decimated Denise Payet and Madhurika woke up from her passive play to tighten the noose around Emily Bolton and England for a 3-0 sweep.
In the men's game Harmeet who was celebrating his 26th birthday, not only presented himself a wonderful gift but also brought India from the brink to a face-saving title victory. India were trailing 0-2 in the final, and they needed someone to give the additional spark.
And he did not disappoint as he registered a fantastic win over McBeath to pave the way for Sathiyan and Sharath to complete the task in their reverse singles.
If Sharath Kamal was awful against Thomas Jarvis, who is No. 186 in the world, in the opening tie, Sathiyan was equally guilty of plotting his own downfall against Samuel Walker, ranked No. 86. And that too after taking a 2-0 lead. But credit must be given to the two English players, especially Jarvis who not only blocked superbly but had the experienced Sharath in a tangle with his accuracy.
Unable to counter him, Sharath threw in the towel earlier than one had expected him to.
Sathiyan faced a determined Walker who inched his way slowly but surely to first draw level and up the ante in the decider, keeping a sizeable lead.
But Sathiyan was able to break the shackles and he levelled the score twice at 7-7, 8-8 before the Briton romped home winners to give a nice cushion (2-0).
Harmeet Desai then entered and he provided a twist as he defeated David McBeath to provide the much-needed oxygen and India snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Manika Batra, who withdrew at the eleventh hour from singles and doubles, forced the referee re-draw the seeding list on Friday. Manika informed TTFI and the referee of her pullout on Friday morning, citing her indisposition. She, however, played her part and helped Team India win the women's crown. (ANI)