Five years since his last ranking title, Indian Table Tennis ace Achanta Sharath Kamal clinched the National Ranking Table Tennis Championship along with Prapti Sen in Chandigarh at the Devi Lal Stadium in Panchkula on Thursday. The event, which was attended by Haryana Governor Bandaru Dattatreya, saw Sharath Kamal defeating former national champion Soumyajit Ghosh to win the title. Meanwhile, facing her fellow Bengali paddler Swastika Ghosh in the women’s title match, 8th seeded Prapti Sen emerged victorious in her first ever finals appearance.
Going the distance against Soumyajit Ghosh, Sharath Kamal emerged victorious with a scoreline of 6-11, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7, 6-11, 9-11, 11-6 and was in a comfortable position throughout the game despite Ghosh’s multiple attempts to take back the helm of the match.
The former champion made a stunning comeback from 1-3 to draw the levels and won the sixth set after falling behind 0-5. However in the decider, Sharath converted his pursuit from 0-2 to a whopping 8-2 and kept his lead to walk out as the champion.
“I was surprised by the sharpness of some of Ghosh’s shots,” Sharath Kamal said after the final, “This was good practice for me ahead of the events in Tunisia and Slovenia. I must admit I have not been in great mind-space after what transpired following the Tokyo Games. But I surprised myself with the way I dealt with the challenges here.”
Proved once again today that age is just a number!
Feels fantastic to win the North Zone Table Tennis Championships. Ecstatic with my overall form and my current fitness level. Looking forward to forthcoming tournaments in Tunisia, Slovenia & World Championship in Houston. 🇮🇳🏓 pic.twitter.com/OoiNQzbXxK
— Sharath Kamal OLY (@sharathkamal1) October 21, 2021
The women’s finale saw both first-time finalists Prapti and Swastika battling it out. Prapti, who fell behind three times, battled back into the lead to finish with 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 15-13.
It was Sharath’s first ranking title since the 39-year-old veteran won the 2016 South Zone event at Visakhapatnam. Winning the final earned Sharath Rs. 84,000 while the runner-up Ghosh was awarded Rs. 42,000. Prapti, the women’s champion earned Rs. 72,000, and while Swastika won Rs. 36,000 as the runner-up.
- The National Ranking Table Tennis Championship saw Achanta Sharath Kamal and Prapti Sen winning their respective men’s and women’s finals on Thursday
- Sharath Kamal defeated former national champion Soumyajit Ghosh to win his first ranking title in five years
- Prapti Ghosh defeated Swastika Ghosh to win the women’s title in her first time final appearance
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