Singapore get silver lining in table tennis men's team final
BIRMINGHAM - With an average age of 21.2 years, Singapore put up a brave fight against defending champions India in the Commonwealth Games table tennis men's team final, but were beaten 3-1 on Tuesday (Aug 2).
Clarence Chew, Ethan Poh, Koen Pang and Izaac Quek had to be content with a silver medal but Singapore will move on to the individual events brimming with belief after this result and the women's team gold on Monday.
These are major upgrades from four years ago when the women's team lost the final for the first time since 2002, and the men's team finished fourth on the Gold Coast.
Pang, 20, and Izaac, 16, had a game point in the first game of their opening doubles match, but could not convert against the more experienced 29-year-olds Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Harmeet Desai, losing 3-0 (13-11, 11-7, 11-5).
World No. 133 Chew pulled off a stirring 3-1 (11-7, 12-14, 11-3, 11-9) win over 39th-ranked Sharath Achanta with a blend of fluid and aggressive combinations that thrilled the crowd at the National Exhibition Centre.
World No. 117 Pang then briefly threatened an upset when he led in the first and third games against 35th-ranked Gnanasekaran but came up short in a 3-1 (12-10, 7-11, 11-7, 11-4) defeat.
It was left to fellow southpaw Chew, 26, to force a decider but world No. 121 Desai was the more consistent player who prevailed with a 3-0 (11-8, 11-5, 11-6) victory.
This is Singapore's fifth medal at these Games - the women's table tennis team won a gold, swimmers Teong Tzen Wei and Toh Wei Soong clinched two silvers, while the badminton mixed team won a bronze.