Hyderabad: S Fidel R Snehit, the talented table tennis player from Hyderabad, ended a 49-year-old old drought for the State when he won a bronze in the men’s singles at UTT 82nd National Table Tennis Championships at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.
He went down to eventual champion G Sathiyan in the semifinal in straight sets 11-13, 5-11, 9-11, 5-11 to settle for the bronze. The last time when a male player from the State won the medal at the senior nationals was a silver medal by Dilip Raj Saxena in 1972 in the men’s category.
Meanwhile, Sathiyan’s perseverance paid the dividends. What he narrowly missed at Cuttack two years ago, the world No. 37 and second-seeded Petroleum paddler made it up at the Tau Devi Lal Indoor Stadium.
“Third time I was lucky, no more jinx. A huge burden off my shoulder,” said Sathiyan. Before Cuttack, he had missed out at Pondicherry (2014) and Hyderabad (2015). The 4-2 win also helped him carry home Rs. 2.50 lakh in prize money.
Final: G Sathiyan (PSPB) bt A Sharath Kamal (PSPB) 11-6, 11-7, 10-12, 7-11, 11-8, 11-8; Semifinals: A Sharath Kamal bt Manav Thakkar (PSPB) 11-8, 5-11, 14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 17-15; G Sathiyan bt SFR Snehit (Telg) 13-11, 11-5, 11-9, 11-5.
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