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Table Tennis

Senior TT Championships: Sharath Kamal wins 10th national title, Sreeja Akula her first

39-year-old Sharath Kamal beat G Sathiyan to secure his 10th senior national title on Monday while 23-year-old Sreeja Akula won her first.

Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula

National Champions Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula (Source: The Hindu)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 26 April 2022 4:24 AM GMT

Star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal secured his 10th national title with a thrilling 4-3 win over G Sathiyan in the men's singles summit clash at the 83rd Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships on Monday.

The 39-year-old dropped his racquet and ran around the arena to celebrate his triumph after Sathiyan's return went out, giving him the last point for a 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 win.

"Tenth is always special, and I will cherish this moment as I did with my first title," said Sharath.

Asked if the milestone can be surmounted, Sharath said: "Records are meant to be broken but might take some time as happened with me when I surpassed Kamlesh Mehta's eight-time national record."

In the women's singles final, Sreeja Akula wore down Mouma Das 4-1 to win her maiden national crown, becoming the first woman from Telangana to achieve the feat. Sreeja, who won her first national ranking title in 2019 during the North Zone championships at Sonipat and followed it up with another crown at Thane, has come a long way. Last year, Sreeja lost out on the national title to eventual winner Manika Batra at Panchkula.

"A dream come true occasion for me, and the week-long camp at Chennai (with Sharath, Manav Thakkar and others) has yielded the desired results," said Sreeja, the WTT Doha doubles bronze medal winner.

Earlier, in the men's singles semifinals, second seed Sathiyan took less than 25 minutes to beat left-handed Sanil Shetty 4-0 in a one-sided encounter. But it was not all that easy for top-seed Sharath Kamal against another left-hander, Manush Shah, in an earlier match. The Gujarat paddler opened well and troubled Sharath a lot. Manush kept his chances alive in the match after he levelled the score 2-2. But then Sharath, struggling in the fifth, won on the seventh game point. Leading 3-2, Sharath found the going good and wrapped up the match soon after.

Sreeja, on the other hand, had to toil against teammate Ayhika Mukherjee in the first women's singles semifinals. In the evenly poised match, the Hyderabad woman won the sixth game when Ayhika deuced. Mouma had entered the final with a 4-1 verdict against PSPB's Reeth Risyha.

Haryana and RSPB benefit

Haryana, RBI and the Railways shared the gold medals on offer in doubles events. In the all-Haryana men's doubles final, Sourav Saha and Wesely Do Rosario defeated teammates Soumyajit Ghosh and Jubin Kumar 3-2. In the women's doubles, Sreeja and Ayhika combined well to outsmart RSPB's Takeme Sarkar and Prapti Sen to win the title 3-2, and in the mixed event final, Akash Pal and Prati Sen beat Haryana's Soumyajit Ghosh and Suhana Saini 3-1.


Men's Singles: Final: A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6; Semifinals: Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt Manush Shah (Guj) 9-11, 11-5, 12-10, 7-11, 18-16, 11-8; G. Sathiyan (PSPB) bt Sanil Shetty (PSPB) 11-6, 11-4, 11-7, 11-5.

Women's Singles: Final: Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Mouma Das (PSPB) 11-8, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6; Semifinals: Akula Sreeja (RBI) Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) 12-10, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 3-11, 12-10; Mouma Das (PSPB) bt Reeth Rishya (PSPB) 11-9, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 12-10.

Men's Doubles: Final: Sourav Saha/Wesley Do Rosaria (Har) bt Soumyajit Ghosh/Jubin Kumar (Har) 11-5, 4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8.

Women's Doubles: Final: Sreeja Akula/Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) bt Takeme Sarkar/Prapti Sen (RSPB) 3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10.

Mixed Doubles: Final: Akash Pal/Prapti Sen (RSPB) bt Soumyajit Ghosh/Suhana Saini (Har) 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7.

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