Sharath Kamal wins national title for record 10th time, Sreeja Akula emerges women's champ
A file image of Sharath Kamal.|
At the 83rd Senior National and Inter-State Table Tennis Championships on Monday, star paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal won his 10th national title with a thrilling 4-3 win over G Sathiyan in the men's singles final. Sharath won 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6 in a close match.
"Tenth is always special, and I will cherish this moment as I did with my first title," Sharath remarked.
When asked if the record can be broken, Sharath replied, "Records are meant to be broken but might take some time as happened with me when I surpassed Kamlesh Mehta's eight-time national record."
Sreeja Akula defeated Mouma Das 4-1 in the women's singles final to earn her first national title, becoming the first woman from Telangana to do so. Sreeja has gone a long way since winning her first national ranking title at the North Zone championships in Sonipat in 2019 and then repeating the feat in Thane. Sreeja lost the national title to eventual winner Manika Batra in Panchkula last year.
"A dream come true occasion for me, and the week-long camp at Chennai (with Sharath, Manav Thakkar and others) has yielded the desired results," said Sreeja.
Earlier in the day, second seed Sathiyan defeated left-handed Sanil Shetty 4-0 in a one-sided match in the men's singles semifinals. In a previous encounter, top-seed Sharath Kamal faced another left-hander, Manush Shah, and it was not easy for him. The Gujarat paddler got off to a good start and caused a lot of problems for Sharath. Manush levelled the score at 2-2 to keep his chances alive in the contest. Sharath, who had been battling in the fifth, eventually triumphed on the seventh game point. With a 3-2 lead, Sharath recovered his stride and quickly finished out the match.
In the first women's singles semifinals, Sreeja had to compete against teammate Ayhika Mukherjee. The Hyderabad woman won the sixth game of the tightly matched match when Ayhika deuced. Mouma advanced to the final after defeating PSPB's Reeth Risyha 4-1.
The gold medals in doubles events were shared by Haryana, RBI, and the Railways. Sourav Saha and Wesely Do Rosario defeated teammates Soumyajit Ghosh and Jubin Kumar 3-2 in the all-Haryana men's doubles final. Sreeja and Ayhika paired effectively to beat RSPB's Takeme Sarkar and Prapti Sen 3-2 in the women's doubles final, and Akash Pal and Prati Sen beat Haryana's Soumyajit Ghosh and Suhana Saini 3-1 in the mixed event final.
Men's Singles: A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6
Women's Singles: Sreeja Akula (RBI) bt Mouma Das (PSPB) 11-8, 11-13, 12-10, 11-8, 11-6
Men's Doubles: Sourav Saha/Wesley Do Rosaria (Har) bt Soumyajit Ghosh/Jubin Kumar (Har) 11-5, 4-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8
Women's Doubles: Sreeja Akula/Ayhika Mukherjee (RBI) bt Takeme Sarkar/Prapti Sen (RSPB) 3-11, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10
Mixed Doubles: Akash Pal/Prapti Sen (RSPB) bt Soumyajit Ghosh/Suhana Saini (Har) 9-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7