Sharath Kamal cruises to second CWG gold in men's singles, claims an incredible fourth medal at 2022 Commonwealth Games
India's star paddler Sharath Kamal won his second gold medal in men's singles event at the Commonwealth Games on Monday.
India's star paddler Sharath Kamal won an incredible fourth medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, ending his run in the edition with an elusive gold medal in men's singles event. The Indian 40-year-old paddler defeated local favourite Liam Pitchford 11-13, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8 to win his fourth singles medal at the Games. Additionally, this is his second men's singles gold at CWG, as he takes his overall medal tally at the Games to 13. Earlier in the 2022 edition, Sharath won a gold medal in the men's team event, and followed it up with a silver in men's doubles and another gold in mixed doubles.
The gold medal match saw a thrilling opening game with a see-sawing of points throughout. India's Sharath started strongly, picking the opening two points of the match before Pitchford opened his account in the game. The English paddler forced Sharath to play the defensive game with a barrage of forehands as the game went down to the wire, with Pitchford eventually winning 13-11. However, Sharath came back strongly in the second game despite committing a number of unforced errors early on. The Indian paddler improved on his defensive game and forced Pitchford to the corners, as he levelled 1-1 with an 11-7 win.
It was an absolute domination by the three-time singles medallist in the third game, however, as Sharath only conceded 2 points against Pitchford to cruise into a 2-1 lead in the match. He took the momentum forward with a 11-6 win in the third game, and sprung into a 3-0 lead in the fourth. While Pitchford pulled back with two successive points, it was Sharath who eventually prevailed in the tie, winning the medal with a solid forehand down the left.
The Indian paddler had started his campaign in the men's singles event with a fairly straightforward 4-0 win over Australia's Finn Liu in the round-of-32. Against ninth-seed Olajide Omotayo of Nigeria in the next round, Sharath dropped two games but eventually emerged victorious to set up a quarter-final with Singapore's Quek Yong Izaac.
The Indian hardly broke a sweat in the quarters, however, as he made easy work of the Singaporean to defeat him 11-6, 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 in straight games.
Up next was Paul Drinkhall of England, who is a serial winner in the doubles category at the Commonwealth Games but still to win a singles medal. In a match that lasted six games, Sharath prevailed over his English opponent and a roaring, unfavourable crowd to win 4-2.
Earlier on Day 10 (Sunday), the Indian veteran player, alongside Sreeja Akula, clinched a top podium finish in the mixed doubles category as they defeated Malaysia's Choong Javen and Karen Lyne 3-1 in the final.
Sharath Kamal's finish at the top of the podium in men's singles gave India its 21st gold in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Earlier on the final day of the Games in Birmingham, PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen won gold in women's and men's badminton singles event respectively.