by Simon Daish
The Perfect 2016 World Team Championships saw both the Indian male and female teams achieve promotion to the Championship Divisions, and in the very same year Sathiyan Gnanasekaran bagged India its first Men’s Singles gold medal on the ITTF World Tour for six years with his victory at the 2016 Belgium Open.
Now 2017 has also produced some wonderful moments for Indian competitors with Manika Batra and Mouma Das becoming the first all-Indian doubles pair to reach a World Championships quarter-finals while an impressive outing in Panagyurishte saw Soumyajit Ghosh and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran leave the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Asarel Bulgaria Open with a Men’s Doubles silver medal.
“I think Indian table tennis is going in the right direction. This has clearly been the best year or so for the sport in India. No doubt about it. You will get more feedback when you ask the foreign players. They are now scared of Indian players… they have so much respect for us!”, Soumyajit Ghosh.
The partnership of Soumyajit Ghosh and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran entered the Men’s Doubles competition in Panagyurishte seeded in fifth position and a strong outing from the duo saw India’s representation in the final.
Eventually the Indian combination experienced defeat against the top seeds Jin Ueda and Maharu Yoshimura (13-11, 7-11, 4-11, 11-6, 5-11), but despite missing out on the title Ghosh believes that he and Gnanasekaran can look back on the event with pride.
“I played them before with Harmeet (Desai) but we had no chance. This time we could challenge them actually. They are one of the best pairs in the world and we (Ghosh and Sathiyan) don’t play with each other. It was our coach (Massimo Costantini) who wanted to try us as the Commonwealth Games are coming up. So he wanted to try and we got a medal… which I believe is a good result”, Soumyajit Ghosh.
Source: Gulf News