Achanta bags gold in table tennis
The Indian defeated Australia's Henzel 4-3 in the final of men's singles table tennis in the Commonwealth Games.Updated: Mar 26, 2006 16:36 IST
Achanta Sharath Kamal provided a fitting finale to India's impressive run in the Commonwealth Games with a gold in men's singles table tennis on the closing day of the mega-event on Sunday.
Third seed Sharath, favourite to win the title, fought a 1-2 deficit to prevail 4-3 against William Henzell of Australia in an engrossing thriller.
With a capacity crowd at Melbourne Sports and aquatic centre rooting for Henzell, the Indian had almost made a mess of it but kept his nerves in the decider to outlast the dogfight 11-5 8-11 5-11 11-8 11-8 7-11 11-8.
After the scores were level 7-7 in the decider, Sharath opened out with a series of forehand and backhand down the line shots to rattle the Australian and earn three match points at 10-7.
The Indian lost one matchpoint, but then unleashed a fine forehand that sealed the brave fight from Henzell.
Sharath punched the air in elation, as members of the Indian contingent burst into spontaneous celebrations, while the locals fell silent.
India thus got their second gold from the event, having earlier won the top honours in the men's team competition apart from a bronze in women's team category.
Men's Singles Gold Medal:Sharath Achanta (India) def William Henzell (Australia) 11-5, 8-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8. Bronze Medal: Segun Toriola (Nigeria) def Adam Robertson (Wales) 7-11, 11-3, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-4.
Women's Singles Gold Medal: Zhang Xueling (Singapore) def Li Jia (Singapore) 6-11, 11-3, 11-5, 2-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-2. Bronze: Xu Yan (Singapore) def Miao Miao (Australia) 11-6, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7.
First Published: Mar 26, 2006 10:22 IST