Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 3: The Indian men and women paddlers claimed team gold medals for yet another time, stamping their authority in the ongoing 13th South Asian Games at Kathmandu today.
In the men’s team final, India beat hosts Nepal 3-0, while their counterparts defeated Sri Lanka, also by an identical 3-0 verdict.
In the men’s team events, Nepal grabbed the silver medal while the bronze medals were shared by both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Among women, Sri Lanka finished second while Nepal and Maldives ended with bronze medals.
Santoo Shrestha gave some torrid moments to Anthony Amalraj before the latter overcame him 12-10, 14-16, 11-5, 11-8 to put India in lead. Soumyajit Ghosh, representing India for the first time in a year, accounted for Shiva Sunder Gothe 11-3, 11-2, 12-10 and Harmeet Desai finished it off in style with a 11-4, 11-4, 11-8 score against Purushottam Borjacahrya.
Earlier in the semifinals, Indian men had trounced Sri Lanka 3-0 with a different combination-Sanil Shetty, Harmeet Desai and Sudhanshu Grover. But except for Harmeet who dropped two games, Sanil, the winner of singles title at the Institutional championships at Ajmer, and Sudhanshu dropped a game each against their Sri Lankan opponents.
Sanil beat Udaya Ranasinghe 11-7, 11-7,9-11, 11-7, Harmeet dropped the first game but recovered to lead 2-1 against Cahmeera Ginige who took the fourth game 11-9 to equal the score. In the decider, Harmeet stopped him way ahead to win 9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3. With a comfortable 2-0 lead, Sudhanshu downed Krishan Wickramathune 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5.
In women’s final, Sutirtha Mukehrjee gave a good opening beating Lanka’s Ishara Madhurangi 11-9, 11-7, 11-3 which Krittiwika Sinha Roy consolidated with a 11-6, 11-4, 11-2 win over Erandi Waruswithana before Sreeja Akuka accounting for Hansini Piumila 11-5, 11-5, 11-3.
In the semifinals, India beat Nepal 3-0 when Ayhika Mukherjee downed Nabita Shreshtha 11-4, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 to put India 1-0 up. Madhurika Patkar cashed in on the weak opposition with a 11-7, 11-4, 11-3 triumph against Sikka Suwal and, finally, Sreeja defeated Elina Maharjan 5-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-5.