Mumbai: Indian paddler Yogesh Desai emerged as the World Champion, winning the Men’s 70+ singles title in the recently concluded ITTF World Veterans Table Tennis Championship 2023, organized by the Oman Table Tennis Association and played at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, Muscat.
The Mumbai-based player Desai played with plenty of grit and determination and did well to brush aside the challenge from Czech Republic’s Milan Rakovicky storming to a 3-1 (9-11, 11-9, 11-7, and 13-11) in the best-of-five-game final and claim his maiden gold medal.
Mantu Murmu bags gold in Women's 60+ event
Another Indian Mantu Murmu also won the World Champions crown winning the Women’s 60+ singles crown. The Kolkata-based Murmu [proved too good for compatriot Sushasini Bakre smoothly cruising to a 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, and 11-7) victory with a measure of ease and clinched the gold medal.
Meanwhile, the Men’s 70+ doubles Indian pairing of Ulhas Shirke and Pinakin Sampat also became World Champions. The Mumbai duo of Shirke and Sampat combined perfectly to outplay the mixed Indo-USA pair of Girish Sawant of India and American Randy Hou winning by a 3-1 (11-7, 11-9, 6-11, and 11-8) margin.
Earlier, in the Men’s 70+ semi-finals, the TSTTA paddler Desai showed remarkable fighting spirit as he recovered after trailing 1-2 to come back by winning the last two games to overcome Austria’s Reinhard Sorger by snatching a tense 3-2 (11-9, 5-11, 7-11, 12-10, and 11-4) win.
The other semi-final also witnessed an engrossing battle as Rakovicky lost the opening two games against compatriot Frantisek Just, who made a positive start. But Rakovicky gallantly fought back to win the remaining three games in succession to clinch a deserving 3-2 (6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, and 12-10) win.
Shirke & Sampat claims Men’s 70+ doubles crown
The Indian contingent of paddlers returned with a rich haul of 24 medals, including six golds, six silvers and 12 bronze medals.
Results - Women's 60+ singles - Semi-finals: Mantu Murmu (IND) bt Virginia Stanescu (BEL) 3-0 (11-4, 13-11, 11-2); Sushasini Bakre (IND) bt Gina Hundven (NOR) 3-1 (11-1, 11-4, 4-11, 11-8); Finals: Mantu Murmu (IND) bt Sushasini Bakre (IND) 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-7).
Men's 70+ singles - Semi-finals: Yogesh Desai (IND) bt Reinhard Sorger (AUT) 3-2 (11-9, 5-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-4); Milan Rakovicky (CZE) bt Frantisek Just (Cze) 3-2 (6-11, 6-11, 11-9, 11-8, 12-10); Final: Yogesh Desai (IND) bt Milan Rakovicky (CZE) 3-1 (9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 13-11).
Men's 70+ doubles – Final: Ulhas Shirke (IND)/ Pinakin Sampat (IND) bt Girish Sawant (IND)/Randy Hou (USA) 3-1 (11-7, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8).
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