New Delhi: Indian men suffered a 0-3 thrashing at the hands of a much superior Singapore as the hosts settled for a silver medal in the team event at the 19th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship on Wednesday.
The Indian paddlers displayed flashes of brilliance to create some excitement among the home supporters at the Thyagaraj Stadium but the difference in class between the two teams proved decisive at the end in the summit clash.
With the home team trailing 0-2, young paddler Sanil Shetty (ranked 332nd) lost to Singapore's Liang Ma in an excruciatingly close battle that extended the full distance of five sets.
Shetty started tentatively against his 174th ranked opponent who raced away to 8-1 lead in the first game. The 23-year-old Indian tried hard to make some amends but could not prevent Ma from bagging the first set 11-8.
The Mumbai lad was impeccable near the table and his strong back-hand returns matched that of his opponent and he took the game 11-9. The long rallies in the match provided excitement to the sparsely filled arena.
The left-handed Indian then went on to clinch the next game 11-8 to lead the contest 2-1.
With India having an upper hand for the first time in the contest, it looked like the match was heading to the reverse duel. But the 22-year-old Singaporean had other plans. Ma upped his game and forced Shetty to make errors and took the the fourth 11-9 after trailing 0-4.
In the decider too, Shetty was having an upper hand as he was 6-3 up. But the Indian squandered the initiative as he crumbled under pressure to hand the Singapore side their third gold medal on the trot in the team event of the Championship.


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