Showing glimpses of his class, Sharath Kamal stopped a resurrected Soumyajit Ghosh to win the UTT National table tennis title on Thursday.
In the presence of the governor of Haryana Bandaru Dattatreya, Sharath shifted gears as he pleased during his victory 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6 on the former national champion.
In the women’s title match, featuring two finalists for the first time, Prapti Sen fought back three times from the deficit to defeat her good friend Swastika Ghosh 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 8 -11, 11-9, 15-13 at Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula.
Although the men’s title clash went the distance, Sharath never looked in danger of losing even after Ghosh fought 1-3 to equalize.
After Ghosh won the sixth set after falling 0-5, Sharath went from 0-2 to 8-2 in the decider to make sure there was no more drama. “I was surprised by the sharpness of some of Ghosh’s shots,” Sharath admitted as he thought back to the final. “It was good practice for me before the events in Tunisia and Slovenia. I have to admit that I haven’t been in a big mental space after what happened after the Tokyo Games. But I was amazed at how I faced the challenges here.
National TT championship ranking: Seedless Swastika Ghosh enters semi-finals
Sharath’s first ranking title since the 2016 South Zone event in Visakhapatnam earned him Rs. 84,000. Ghosh, who said he was playing nearly 90% of his form in early 2018, earned Rs. 42,000.
Prapti was richer by Rs. 72,000, and Svastika collected Rs. 36,000.
Earlier today, the men’s semi-finals proved to be exciting. Down 1-3 against Desai, Sharath rebounded to bring the score to 3-3, then saved a match point at 9-10 and added the next two points for a place in the final.
A little later, Ghosh ended Thakkar’s resistance after rallying 7-10 in the deciding set.
Meanwhile, in the Under-19s, seeded Payas Jain and Swastika Ghosh led the top four seeds in each section to the quarter-finals.
Men (final): Sharath Kamal bt Soumyajit Ghosh 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6; (semi-finals): Sharath bt Harmeet Desai 11-8, 8-11, 4-11; 7-11, 11-4, 11-9, 12-10; Ghosh by Manav Thakkar 14-16, 11-5, 11-6, 13-11, 6-11, 9-11, 14-12.
Women (final): Prapti Sen bt Swastika Ghosh 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 15-13; (semi-finals): Prapti bt Takeme Sarkar 15-13, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9, 12-10; Swastika by Anusha Kutumbale 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6.
Shillong to host national TT tournament
Shillong will host the National Table Tennis Championship from January 21 to 29, 2022.
The Indian Table Tennis Federation (TTFI) also finalized on Thursday the schedule for other national championships and ranking events for the season.
December 7-13: National classification championship in Dehradun.
December 20-27: National classification championship (South Zone) in Pondicherry.
January 3-9: National classification championship (central zone) in Indore.
January 11-17: National Youth (under 13 and under 15) in Indore.
January 21-28: National Championship in Shillong.
February 6-13: National Youth (under 17 and under 19) in Thiruvananthapuram.