by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, after a somewhat hesitant start, beat Singapore’s Ethan Poh Shao Feng and Pang Yew En Koen (7-11, 11-5, 11-1, 11-3); the teenage partnership having excelled expectations.
“In the first game we had problems returning service; they were always able to attack first. Towards the end of the second game we had adjusted and we were able to read their services and take the initiative.” Sharath Kamal Achanta
Success for Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran meant that the possibility of an all Indian final existed; that option was extinguished by Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford. They beat Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty in four straight games (11-7, 13-11, 13-11).
“Certainly winning the second game was important; we were up 9-6 and then down 9-10; I don’t think we changed anything, we just continued playing our game. Now we are in the gold medal match; that’s really important. We’ve missed out before, now we have an opportunity, we’ve played Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran before and it’s always been close.” Paul Drinkhall
The final, featuring Sharath Kamal Achanta and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in opposition to Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford will be the contest that concludes the day on Saturday 14th April; it will be preceded by the bronze medal match in which Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty confront Poh Shao Feng and Pang Yew En Koen.
A prediction for gold ? Too close to call.