Triple delight for Achanta Sharath Kamal in CWG

Earlier in the day, Manika and Sreeja had entered the women’s singles quarterfinals.
Achanta Sharath Kamal
Achanta Sharath Kamal

Birmingham, Aug 6 : Ace Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal put up a sensational show to progress to the semifinals of all his three events in the table tennis competition of the Commonwealth Games here on Friday.

The record nine-time national champion, who has as many as 10 CWG medals to his name, entered the men’s singles semifinals after beating Nigeria’s Olajide Omotayo 4-2 in a thrilling contest.

Achanta Sharath Kamal, 40, also reached the semifinals of mixed and men’s doubles competition along with his respective partners.

He first paired up with young Sreeja Akula to stun two-time silver medallists Liam Pitchford and Tin-Tin Ho of England 3-2 (11-7 8-11 11-8 11-13 11-9) in mixed doubles quarters and then combined with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran to beat another English pair of Tom Jarvis and Sam Walker 3-0 (11-6 11-8 11-4) in men’s doubles event.

Sreeja too dished out superlative performances to progress to the women’s singles semifinals to go with her mixed doubles performance.

The 24-year-old Achanta Sharath Kamal from Hyderabad showed nerves of steel as she scripted a sensational come-from-behind 4-3 win over Mo Zhang of Canada to advance to the semifinals.

She beat Zhang 9-11 11-4 6-11 9-11 11-5 11-4 11-8 in her quarterfinal match.

Gnanasekaran also reached the men’s singles quarters, beating Nicholas Lum 4-2 at the NEC Hall.

However, Sanil Shetty lost 2-4 to Nigeria’s Bode Abiodun.

Sreeja and Sharath had earlier come from behind to beat Malaysia’s Leond Chee Fang and Ho Ying 5-11 11-2 11-6 11-5, while Sharath and Gnanasekaran eased past Bangladesh’s Bawm Ramhimlian and Ridoy Mohutasin Ahmed 11-6 11-1 11-4 in their round of 16 clash.

Defending champion Manika Batra, however, had a bad day as she suffered a 0-4 defeat against Jian Zeng of Singapore in the women’s singles quarterfinal to bow out of the competition.

Earlier, Manika and Sathiyan had lost 2-3 to Malaysia’s Javen Choong and Karen Lyne, while men’s pairing of Sanil Shetty and Harmeet Desai also ended their campaign with a 0-3 loss to Singapore’s Chew Zhe Yu Clarence and Poh Shao Feng Ethan.

In another result, Sreeja and Reeth Tennison entered the pre-quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Scotland’s Lucy Elliott and Rebecca Plaistow.

Earlier in the day, Manika and Sreeja had entered the women’s singles quarterfinals.

While the 27-year-old Batra steamrolled Australian Jee Minhyung 11-4 11-8 11-6 12-10 to set up a fight with Singapore’s Jian Zeng, Sreeja played out a nerve-wracking encounter against Charlotte Carey of Wales to secure herself a last eight berth.

The 24-year-old toiled hard but held her nerves to beat Carey 8-11 11-7 12-14 9-11 11-4 15-13 12-10.

Meanwhile, Reeth Tennison, bowed out in the women’s singles event after she went down to Singapore’s Feng Tianwei in a round of 16 match.

Tianwei proved too strong for Tennison as the latter was beaten 11-2 11-4 9-11 11-3 11-4.

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