Star paddler Sharath Kamal continued his sensational run to reach the finals of both men’s and mixed doubles and secure India with at least two additional medals at Saturday’s Commonwealth Games. Sharath first paired up with G Sathiyan to defeat Australian pair Nicholas Lum and Minhyung Jee 3-2 (11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 12-14, 11-7) in a thrilling semi-final in the men’s double. The Indian duo will face England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford in the gold medal match.
Sharath then paired up with young Sreeja Akula to enter the mixed doubles final with a blistering 3-2 win over Australian duo Nicholas Lum and Minhyung Jee.
The Indian pair took an 11-9 11-8 9-11 12-14 11-7 victory and will fight for the gold against Malaysians Karen Lyne and Choong Jayen.
Sreeja also put on a good show in the women’s singles before suffering a narrow 3-4 defeat to Singaporean Tianwei Feng.
Akula lost 6-11 11-8 11-6 9-11 8-11 11-8 10-12 to Feng in a pulsating semi-final.
Earlier, Sharath and Sathiyan advanced to the semifinals of the men’s singles.
While Sharath made short work of Singaporean player Yong Izaac Quek 4-0 (11-6 11-7 11-4 11-7), Sathiyan was stretched in his 4-2 (11-5 11-7 11-5 8- 11). 10-12 11-9) victory by Sam Walker from England.
“It was a great game, all credit to Sam, he fought very hard. I should have finished in that fifth set, but I was a bit nervous,” said Sathiyan.
“I’ve never beaten Sam before so this came to my mind and it wasn’t that easy to play in a big game like this. I kept my cool in the end and took the game to finish my first (Commonwealth Games) half final I’m really happy,” he added.
It was dry though for Sanil Shetty, who lost a one game lead to go to home favorite Liam Pitchford 1-4 (11-9 6-11 8-11 8-11 4-11).
In women’s doubles, both Indian pairs – Sreeja Akul and Reeth Tennison and Manika Batra and Diya Chitale – won their round of 16 matches.
Akula and Tennnison defeated Chloe Anna Thomas Wu Zhang and Lara Whitton of Wales 11-7 11-4 11-3.
Batra and Chitale beat Mauritian pair Jalim Nandeshwaree and Oumehani Hosenally 11-5 11-5 11-3.
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