Barring a blip in game two, Sharath and Akula were in perfect control of the encounter, comfortably beating Javen Choong and Karen Lyne of Malaysia 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 in the gold medal contest. ‘gold.
Sharath produced a class act to reach the men’s singles final as well.
Warmest congratulations to Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula for winning Mixed Doubles Table Tennis Gold at… https://t.co/CB0lz45PAz
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) 1659901467000
GOLD FOR SHARATH AND SREEJA 🔥🇮🇳’s dynamic #TableTennis Mixed Doubles 🏓 pair – the young sensation #SreejaAkula & t… https://t.co/Ym6UADSij0
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) 1659900532000
The 40-year-old paddler, who won a bronze medal last time out in Gold Coast, beat his country’s Paul Drinkhall 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11 -8 to reach his second CWG final.
The only other time Sharath, seeded fourth here, made it to the final, he came away with a gold medal at the 2006 edition in Melbourne.
By reaching the final, Sharath has already secured a silver medal and increased his CWG medal tally to 13.
For Akula, it was her first CWG medal.
Earlier today, the veteran pair of Sharath and G Sathiyan were thwarted by familiar foes Drinkhall and England’s Liam Pitchford in the men’s doubles final.
The Indian duo had to settle for silver for the second consecutive edition after losing 11-8, 8-11, 3-11, 11-7, 4-11 to the English combine.
It was a repeat of the 2018 final in Gold Coast and to the disappointment of the Indians, it was the same result.
The Indian contingent received tons of support from the crowd here, but at the NEC table tennis arena on Sunday, the English fans outnumbered the Indians.
With very little separation between the two pairs, the Indians started well with Sathiyan hitting a clean forehand to lead 1-0 in the gold medal game.
Drinkhall and Pitchford fought back in game two. A full-line reverse from Pitchford made it 5-1 for England. The Indians were struggling to recover serve with their opponents mixing things up.
Sharath’s returns from the backhand yielded mixed results. The cross-court winner at Pitchford after a long rally gave England a 7-5 lead before leveling.
The English pair ran away with the third game which had the best rally of the game as the Indians won after trading a series of booming forehands away from the table.
The Indians were able to take the final to the decider after a course correction in Game 4.
However, Drinkhall and Pitchford took a huge 4-4 six point lead to earn six gold medal points in Game 5. They converted the very first drawing a huge roar from the crowd. The Indian pair shook hands with their opponents who once again proved to be better during the day.