Sixth-seed Harmeet Desai defeated fourth-seed Manav Thakkar 4-3 in the men’s singles final to claim his first title at the 81st National Table Tennis Championships in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Haryana’s Sutirtha Mukherjee claimed her second National crown, beating PSPB’s Krittwika Sinha Roy, a three-time finalist, 4-0 in the women’s singles final. In the process, she bagged three gold, including in the team event and women’s doubles apart from getting a silver in the mixed event.

Harmeet, who had reached his first final in 2013, attributed his success to the training he has received at the Axton Centre in Germany.

“Ever since I started training at the centre (in Germany) where I get to play with world’s top paddlers, I have improved in my blocks and shot selections,” he said.

He added, “Manav I have been travelling together and when he engages you in long rallies, more often than not he wins. And the mistakes I made in the sixth set forced me rethink and I decided to keep my cool in the decider.”

Haryana made their presence felt as their paddlers won both gold medals in men and women doubles before closely losing the third gold in mixed event.

After Jubin Kumar and Soumyajit Ghosh combined well to beat Gujarat’s Manush Shah and Ishaan Hingorani 3-1 in men doubles, it was the turn of Sutirtha and Riti Shankan to beat Bengal ‘A’ duo of Surbhi Patwari and Poymantee Baisya in women doubles.

Later, Sutirtha and Sourav Saha bagged silver in a tough mixed doubles, losing 1-3 to the Bengal pair of Ronit Bhanja and Mousumi Paul.


Men Singles: Harmeet Desai (PSPB) bt Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 11-4, 11-13, 14-12, 9-11, 11-8, 5-11, 11-5.

Semi-finals: Manav Thakkar bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 11-9, 16-14, 7-11, 15-13, 6-11, 11-9; Harmeet Desai beat Soumyajit Ghosh (Har) 11-9, 11-7, 11-4, 8-11, 14-12.

Doubles: Jubin Kumar/Soumyajit Ghosh (Har) beat Manush Shah/Ishaan Hingorani (Guj) 11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-7.