Millennium Post

Indians on course for a record medal haul

Indian men were guaranteed three singles medals leaving the fourth one to Singapore in the Avadh 20th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at the Pandit Dindayal Upadhyay Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

The Indians also looked like overhauling their best ever tally of nine medals. The hosts have already assured themselves of medals in doubles in both the sections, apart from the team gold and silver.

Soumyajit Ghosh rolled over his Scottish rival Gavin Rumgay 11-4, 11-8, 11-6, 12-10, but G Sathiyan fell to world number 176 Chen Feng of Singapore 11-13, 11-9, 7-11, 10-12, 11-4, 5-11.

Saithiyan has to blame himself for squandering the fourth game after a sizeable 10-7 lead which allowed Chen to come back strongly and reach the semifinals. If only he had won, it would have given him a comfortable 3-1 lead and confidence to go over the hurdle. Yet the Indian presence in the semifinal became evident as in the all-India quarterfinals, Anthony Amalraj taught a lesson or two to Abhishek Yadav, winning the match 11-4, 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 in flat 22 minutes.

Abhishek, ranked way below his rival (212), could not counter the speedy Amalraj despite possessing good strokes and went down without a murmur.

In contrast, left-handed Sanil Shetty (267) overcame local boy and higher-ranked (155) Harmeet Desai 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-5. In the pre-quarterfinals, Harmeet defeated England’s Helshan Weerasinghe 11-13, 11-8, 11-7, 8-11, 6-11, 11-6, 16-14. The Indian saved two match-points and, on his second, won the crucial decider when Helshan sent the ball out after a couple of rallies. 
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