SAG table tennis: Amalraj-Batra win mixed doubles gold

Shillong, Feb 9 (IANS) The Indian mixed doubles pair of Anthony Amalraj and Manika Batra defeated compatriots G. Sathiyan and Mouma Das 3-2 to win gold in the table tennis competition of the 12th South Asian Games 2016 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Sports Hall here on Tuesday.

Amalraj and Manika overcame a strong challenge to carve out a 11-5, 4-11, 11-5, 6-11, 12-10 win.

The hosts’ tally of gold medals in table tennis have now increased to three.

There will be more gold on offer for the hosts on Wednesday as the Indian paddlers have secured their berths in the finals of the men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles.

Sathiyan and Das outsmarted Udaya Ranasinghe and Ruvini Kannangura of Sri Lanka 3-1 in the semi-finals, while Amalraj and Batra beat Sri Lanka’s Rohan Sirisena and Ishara Madhurangi (Sri Lanka) by the same margin.

The Sri Lankans claimed two bronze medals for finishing as losing the semi-finalists.

In the men’s doubles final which will be played on Wednesday, Amalraj and Sanil Shetty will take on Indian compatriots Sathiyan and Devesh Karia. Both pairs had defeated Sri Lankan opponents in the semi-finals by identical 3-0 margins.

The women’s doubles final will be a contest between Indian pairs Mouma-Shamini and Batra-Pooja Sahasrabudhe.

While the latter pair had beaten Madhurangi and Erandi Warusawithana of Sri Lanka 3-0 in their last-four encounter, Mouma and Shamini outsmarted Nepal’s Nabita Shrestha and Elina Maharjan by the same margin.

In the men’s singles final, Amalraj will face Sathiyan, while Batra and Mouma will contest for the women’s singles gold.

All four had defeated Sri Lankan opponents in the semifinals, demarcating clearly that though India is the best table tennis team, Sri Lanka were undoubtedly second.

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