National Games TT: Harmeet Desai, Sutirtha win men's and women's singles titles
Surat, September 24, 2022
Local star Harmeet Desai and Bengal’s Sutirtha Mukherjee comfortably claimed the table tennis men’s and women’s singles titles, respectively, in the 36th National Games here on Saturday.
Harmeet thrashed Haryana’s Soumyajit Ghosh 4-0 in the men's final while Olympian Sutirtha overpowered national champion Sreeja Akula 4-1 in the women’s final.
Sutirtha ended the Games on a high with three gold medals – women’s singles, doubles and team – while Harmeet and another Gujarat paddler Manush Shah now have two gold medals each to show for their efforts.
Gujarat men had won the team gold, with Harmeet and Manush playing stellar roles in front of the adoring home crowds. The latter also clinched the mixed doubles title, partnering wife Krittwika Sinha Roy.
Bengal emerged as the overall champions from the table tennis arena bagging four gold medals, one silver and three bronze.
Gujarat finished second with three gold and three bronze. Maharashtra finished third with one silver and four bronze medals.
The day well and truly belonged to Harmeet and Sutirtha as they vanquished top seeds G Sathiyan and Manika Batra in their respective semi-finals before dominating the gold medal matches.
Harmeet began the final match with an aggressive mindset. He kept Ghosh on the defensive by finding angles from both forehand and backhand shots to win 11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8.
Sutirtha quelled the attacking instinct of 2022 Commonwealth Games mixed doubles champion Sreeja.
Sreeja also ended up on the losing side in the mixed doubles final as she and partner FR Snehit were beaten in straight sets by Shah and Krittwika.
Earlier, Sutirtha had teamed up with Ayhika to defeat Karnataka’s Yashaswini Ghorpade and Kushi V in straight sets in the women’s doubles final.
Bengal’s Jeet Chandra and Ronit Bhanja clinched the men’s doubles gold, beating statemates Arjun Ghosh and Anirban Ghosh in straight sets.
Results (all finals)
Men’s singles: Harmeet Desai (Guj) bt Soumyajit Ghosh (Har) 11-8, 11-4, 11-7, 11-8
Women’s singles: Sutirtha Mukherjee (WB) bt Sreeja Akula (Tel) 11-8, 11-7, 11-8, 12-14, 11-9
Men’s doubles: Jeet Chandra/Ronit Bhanja (WB) bt Arjun Ghosh/Anirban Ghosh (WB) 11-4, 11-3, 11-3
Women’s doubles: Sutirtha Mukherjee/Ayhika Mukherjee (WB) bt Yashaswini Ghorpade/Kushi V 11-8, 11-5, 13-11
Mixed doubles: Manush Shah/Krittwika Sinha Roy (Guj) bt FR Snehit/Sreeja Akula (Tel) 11-8, 11-5, 11-6