Gujarat men bag Silver Medal at Senior National at Cuttack
Gujarat Men’s team consisting of Harmeet Desai (Captain), Mansush Shah, Ishaan Hingorani, Jignesh Jaiswal, Jalay Mehta and Coaches Devesh Karia, RJ Bhatt climbed one more step on the podium when they claimed silver at the 11Sports 80th National Table Tennis Championship at the Nehru Stadium in Cuttack. In the Men’s event final Gujarat went down fighting to star studded defending champions Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB).
It was maiden final appearance for Gujarat, which has bagged bronze last year.
Olympian and PSPB’s senior most player Sharath Kamal, as usual, provided the winning start with an easy 16-14, 11-4, 11-3 win over Ishaan Hingorani. Gujarat found themselves 0-2 down when G. Sathiyan won 11-6 11-5 10-12 11-7 against Harmeet Desai.
For a moment it seemed PSPB will end the match 3-0 when former national champion A Amalraj took on inform and Gujarat’s junior international Manush Shah. The teenager had different ideas. Manush, running a fine form, never allowed any liberty to the experienced Amalraj and walked away with the match 11-5 12-10 11-9.
The result in Gujarat’s favour put an extra burden on Sharath, forcing him to play the reverse singles.
And the pressure was palpable on the torch-bearer of Indian table tennis and so much so Sharath, after leading 3-0, 6-3, 9-6 in the fifth game, failed to read Harmeet’s counter attack. Harmeet won five points on the trot to win the game and match 7-11 11-9 6-11 11-4 9-11
In the second reverse singles, Ishaan Hingorani faced Sathiyan. The Chennai-based player brought his experience into play and cleaned up Ishaan won 11-6, 11-6, 11-7 to retain the title.
Results: Team Events:
Men: Final: PSPB bt Gujarat 3-2 (Sharath Kamal bt Ishaan Hingorani 16-14, 11-4, 11-3, G. Sathiyan bt Harmeet Desai 11-6 11-5, 10-12, 11-7, A. Amalraj lost to Manush Shah 5-11, 10-12, 9-11, Sharath Kamal lost to Harmeet Desai 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 9-11, G. Sathiyan bt Ishaan Hingorani 11-6, 11-6, 11-7)
PICTURE: Gujarat Men’s Team (L-R) Ishaan Hingorani, Manush Shah, Jignesh Jayswal, Harmeet Desai (Captain) Jalay Mehta and Coach Devesh Karia with Silver Medal at Cuttack.