Indian paddlers on Sunday thrashed four-time gold medallists Singapore 3-1 in the finals to win the gold medal in women's team table tennis at the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. This is India's first ever gold medal in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games.
It was mother of all upsets as prior to this final, the Singapore women's team had never lost in the Commonwealth Games since the sport was inducted in the program way back in 2002. (CWG 2018 DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS)
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It was mother of all upsets as prior to this final, the Singapore women's team had never lost in the Commonwealth Games since the sport was inducted in the program way back in 2002. (CWG 2018 DAY 4 PICTURES)
"Even in my wildest dream I had not thought that I will beat an Olympic medallist and world number four," Batra told PTI after her shock win over Feng Tianwei.
"I knew that she was having problems with my pimpled rubber and I realise that but I did not use it as my strength all the time. I kept changing my game. I did not want to kept her settle so I changed my rubber after the second game," she added.
"It was my first time playing against Feng, the moment I knew I won against the world number four, I felt on top of the world."
The victory tasted even sweeter as the women had returned empty-handed from the Glasgow edition four years ago. It was only the second table tennis team gold for India at the Games with the men achieving the feat in the 2006 Melbourne edition.
Earlier today, India had blanked England 3-0 to reach the women's team final for the second time.
While Batra was the architect of India's historic win, the experienced pairing of Madhurika Patkar and Mouma Das played the supporting role to perfection by winning the crucial doubles tie 3-1 (11-7 11-6 8-11 11-7) against Zhou and Mengyu Yu for a 2-1 lead in the final.
After Batra shocked Feng 3-2 (11-8 8-11 7-11 11-9 11-7) in the opening singles, Mengyu had equalized for Singapore with a straight game win over Patkar.
Batra then proved to be too good for Yihan, who failed to read her deceptive strokes. The Singaporean put a back hand long as the Indian completed a 3-0 (11-7 11-4 11-7), leading to wild celebrations.
Batra's childhood coach Sandeep Gupta said,"She always had the game to upset top players and she has done it again. It is time we get over the mentality that pimpled players cannot survive at the highest level."
"You just need to have an attacking game with the defence of the pimpled rubber. Her strength is that she can change gears from defence to counter-attack very fast," said Gupta.