India added the women’s doubles silver to the two team gold medals from the table tennis arena after Manika Batra and Mouma Das failed to challenge the might of the Singaporean combination of Tianwei Feng and Mengyu Yu in the final. This is India’s first-ever silver in the women’s doubles event at the Commonwealth Games.
Batra, the architect of India’s win in the team event, wasn’t in her element in the final and the Singapore combination exploited the lack of co-ordination between their opponents to race to a 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 win to not just retain their title but also ensure that the women’s doubles gold remains with the island country for the fifth straight time.
Earlier, in the bronze medal play-off, the Indian pair of Pooja Sahasrabudhe and Sutritha Mukherjee failed to quell the aggressive instincts of Malaysia’s Ho Ying and Karen Lyne and went down 15-13, 11-7, 8-11, 11-7.
The end result could have been different had the Indians clinched any of the three set points in the opening set but they were guilty of playing it safe on all the three occasions.
In contrast, 15-year-old Karen Lyne used her forehand top spin to great effect to dominate the experienced Indian duo as the Malaysians pocketed the match and the medal on the second opportunity.
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Sharath-Sathiyan in final
The heart-break in the later stages of the day notwithstanding, India had an otherwise fruitful outing with the men’s doubles combination of Achanta Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan booking their place in the summit clash with a 7-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 win over Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen and Poh Shao Feng Ethan.
However, the hopes of an all-Indian final in the paired event were once again dashed when Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty fought hard but came up short in the 11-7, 13-11, 13-11 loss against England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford.
India also has two semi-finalists in the mixed doubles competition while Sharath and Batra are the lone Indians left in the singles draw.