80th Senior National & Inter-State Table Tennis Championships : A. Sharath Kamal lifted the men’s trophy and Archana Kamath in the women’s
Veteran A Sharath Kamal broke Kamlesh Mehta’s long-standing record of most national titles by winning of all PSCB Final against India teammate, G Sathiyan in Cuttack, Odisha.
Sharath, who reached a career-high ranking of 30 last month, surpassing Kamlesh Mehta’s eight National titles. Sathiyan, No. 31 in the ITTF rankings, matched Sharath stroke to stroke, yet, he failed to win the elusive maiden trophy despite reaching the final on three occasions. In fact, Sharath should have sewn it up earlier. But he could not hold his nerves despite leading 10-8 in the fifth game and Sathiyan pulled it off nicely at 12-10 to go 3-2 up. The pressure on Sharath was too much as he had to win the next to stay in the match and he did it in style. But the decider took the toll on both players and the extended game was won on the third match-point by Sharath while Sathiyan just missed one.
18th year old, youngster Archana Kamath lifted the women’s trophy for the first time. Archana’s accomplished something which Archana Rao (Viswanath) could not do after reaching her first final in 1992 Goa Nationals.
Her confidence had soared after beating CWG gold medallist Manika Batra in the semi-finals and it was evident twice in the final when after trailing 4-7 in the third and again 6-10 in the fourth, the girl from Karnataka came back strongly to go 3-1 up. But in the fifth, some loose shots didn’t help her as she gave away too many negatives to Krittwika Sinha Roy of West Bengal who also chasing her first title.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik congratulated Sharath Kamal and Archana Kamath on winning the titles in the men and women category.
Singles: Final: A. Sharath Kamal (PSPB) bt G. Sathiyan (PSPB) 11-13, 11-5, 11-6, 5-11, 10-12, 11-6, 14-12; Semifinals: A. Sharath Kamal bt Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 11-6, 11-6; G. Sathiyan bt Ronit Bhanja (WB) 11-2, 11-3, 11-9, 11-7.
Doubles: Final: Arjun Ghosh & Ronit Bhanja (WB) bt Anirban Ghosh & Anirban Nandi (RSPB) 14-12, 8-11, 11-9, 12-10.
Singles: Final: Archana Kamath (PSPB) bt Krittwika Sinha Roy (WB) 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 11-3; Semifinals: Archana Kamath bt Manika Batra (PSPB) 11-7, 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 11-8; Krittwika Sinha Roy bt Ahyhika Mukherjee (WB) 11-6, 11-13, 15-13, 15-17, 11-8, 3-11, 11-7.
Doubles: Final: Nikhat Banu & Sreeja Akula (Tel) bt Anannya Basak & Srushti Haleangadi (Mah) 11-2, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7.