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Sharath and Sreeja win gold medal in mixed doubles table tennis at CWG

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Sharath Kamal and Akula Sreeja defeated Malaysian duo Javen Choong and Karen Lyne in the final and won India’s mixed doubles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games

Sharath Kamal and Akula Sreeja defeated Malaysian duo Javen Choong and Karen Lyne in the final and won India’s mixed doubles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games

A. Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula gave India its first-ever Commonwealth Games mixed doubles gold medal and Birmingham’s second table tennis gold by beating the mammoth Malaysian pair of Javen Choong and Karen Lyne in Birmingham on Sunday night.

Sharath and Sreeja kept their scintillating streak alive in the tournament to defeat Choong and Lyne, who had previously ousted pre-tournament favorites G. Sathiyan and Manika Batra 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6 in the best-of-final of five games.

India’s men’s team led by Sharath had previously won the gold team championship.

The win meant that Sharath, who had previously reached the men’s singles final, despite settling for silver in the men’s doubles category, stayed on track with Sathiyan for a triple gold medal.

For Sreeja, the star of the Indian female rowers this week, it was a well deserved medal, also on the podium, to end a memorable week. After losing the bronze medal playoff in singles, Sreeja overcame the disappointment and shone in the final encounter of the day with her powerful forehand winners.

Sharath lets Sreeja take center stage

Sharath, who had played two games earlier in the day, was happy to keep Sreeja at the center of attention and consistently bet against a relatively inexperienced couple.

Earlier in the evening, as Sharath ousted England’s Paul Drinkhall in six hard-fought matches in the men’s singles semi-final, Sathiyan stumbled against England’s No. 1 Liam Pitchford.

Pitchford proved too aggressive and too quick for Sathiyan, who fell short on several fronts in the semi-final. As Sharath takes on Pitchford in Monday’s final, Sathiyan hopes to earn his first CWG medal by beating Drinkhall in the bronze medal playoff.

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