CWG 2022: Table tennis silver again for Sharath Kamal-Gnanasekaran Sathiyan | Commonwealth Games 2022 News
Just like the 2018 Gold Coast Games, their nemesis at the final hurdle were once again Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford. In a scintillating clash, the Englishmen emerged victors 8-11, 11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-4 to clinch back-to-back men’s doubles CWG gold.
It was silver again for the Sharath-Sathiyan pair.
“It was very much the same story (as 2018), and it was a close match. We prepared well but all credit to them. They played a fantastic match and raised their level in the decider,” Sathiyan reacted after the loss.
“We gave them an early lead in the decider, which cost us the match. Unfortunately, it was silver again this time. We had played very well in Gold Coast in 2018, and we’ve again played very well here in Birmingham. I hope we can come back and win gold at the next Games.”
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— Team India (@WeAreTeamIndia) 1659882736000
“We tried our best, but they played fantastic,” Kamal added to what Sathiyan said.
The Indian duo made a perfect start. They won the first nine points in the first game before the English pair came back strongly, but Sharath-Sathiyan eventually won the game 11-8.
The defending champions responded brilliantly, taking a strong early lead in the second game. Sharath and Sathiyan looked to stage a comeback as they won four consecutive points to trail by only a point at 8-9. But Pitchford and Drinkhall held their nerve to win the last two points and level the tie.
The English duo looked to pile on the pressure with a dominating 11-3 win in the third game, as majority of the long rallies went the way of Pitchford and Drinkhall.
SPECTACULAR SILVER [email protected] /@sathiyantt put up a spectacular performance in the Gold Medal MD bout and cl… https://t.co/KJHPIqWYM6
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) 1659882341000
In the fourth game, the Indians had a change in strategy and they played closer to the table in order to cut down on the angles. The result was there to see as Sharath and Sathiyan won the game 11-7 to force a decider.
The decider started on a thrilling note with none willing to concede a point, but the English combination nudged ahead with 5-4 lead at break. They carried the momentum thereafter to extend the lead by four points. Sathiyan tried to go for some glory shots, but couldn’t get his placements right. As a result, Pitchford and Drinkhall clinched the game and the match at 11-4.
“Just relieved! We played an unbelievable last set… Honestly. Probably the best doubles we played when we needed it,” Pitchford said afterwards.