Table Tennis: India pip Canada 3-2 to win Bronze
This is India's first medal in the team events in the Commonwealth Games so far.Updated: Mar 20, 2006 10:11 IST
Former national champion Mouma Das held her nerves as she guided India to a thrilling 3-2 bronze medal win over Canada in the Women Table Tennis team competition of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne on Monday.
In a match, which went to wire and in which teams exchanged lead to be 2-2, Mouma Das displayed steely determination in the decider to clinch the medal for India.
This is India's first medal in the team events in the Games so far and the women players with their gritty display justified their participation here.
"It is a great win every player played her part and even those who lost played their heart out," said an overjoyed team manager Dhanraj Choudhary.
Choudhary was of the view that this win will prove to be a shot in the arm for the players who will now be more motivated to do well in the open events.
"To win a team medal at this level of competition is very tough, but Indian Girls have done it," he said.
He also added"we hope for more medals in the games now".
It all started very promisingly with Poulomi Ghatak giving India a 1-0 lead as she downed formidable Guang Hong Xu.
Interestingly, the Canadian women team is fully comprised of players of Chinese origin.
Poulomi survived a scare when Guang took lead midway through the first set but the Indian recovered her ground quickly and with couple of powerful smashes, she overtook her rival and won 13-11.
The loss of first set rattled Guang who just could not find her rhythm in the second and Poulomi clinched it easily 11-7.
However, it was neck and neck in the third with Guang making a desperate bid to catch up with her rival.
Poulomi did make some unforced errors but then managed to make amends with some attacking game to finish the set 12-10 to win the match. The Indian won 13-11, 11-7, 12-10.
The Canadian roared back to draw parity as higher ranked Mo Zhang overwhelmed Mouma Das in straight sets 11-9, 13-11, 11-8. It was only in second set that the Indian could match her very fast and agile rival.
Nandita Saha waged a grim battle against a very determined Sara Yuen before emerging 3-1 winner.
Saha lost her first set very tamely as she could just manage a point in this but the Indian fought back superbly to draw level and then won her next two sets in thrilling fashion to give India 2-1 lead.
Saha playing a mixture of defensive and attacking game gave no quarters to Sara in a 25 minute encounter to emerge 1-11.11-4, 12-10, 11-7 winner.
Mo Zhang who had beaten Mouma Das earlier, came back for her second match against Poulomi Ghatak.
The Canadian justified her ranking and reputation as she made short work of the India 11-7, 11-8, 11-5, reducing the match to no contrast and once again drawing level for her country.
The decider between Mouma Das and Guang Hong Xu was a thriller and heart stopper. The two players gave nothing away as they battled it on the table.
Guang claimed the first set but Mouma won the next two without much ado but in the fourth, in her anxiety to finish of the match, the Indian committed couple of crucial unforced errors and Guang captialised on them to win the set and make it 2-2.
In the last set Mouma displayed experience and maturity.She controlled her game.
She attacked and defended well and smashed with telling effects. Her forehand and backhand shots left Guang stranded and the Indian wrapped up the set and match in 32 minutes.
Mouma won 5-11, 11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5 to help India a podium place in this event.
First Published: Mar 20, 2006 09:32 IST