The girl from West Bengal, Ayhika Mukherjee created history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in the Women’s Singles category of the recently concluded 21st edition of the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships. Harmeet Desai also won the men’s singles titles on Monday. India claimed a clean sweep, securing all the seven gold medals at the championships at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Cuttack.

Harmeet, 26, beat favourite G Sathiyan 4-3 (9-11 6-11 11-5 11-8 17-15 7-11 11-9 in a hard-fought final, while  Ayhika won her maiden gold in the championships, thrashing former national champion Madurika Patkar 4-0 (11-6 11-4 11-9 19-17).

This is the first time a paddler could replicate their gold-winning performance in other events.

Ayhika has been holding the table tennis bat since she was six years old, and surely she has come a long way. The elusive gold at the Commonwealth Championships is the result of the consistent hard work produced in two years.

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Earlier last week, women paddlers clinched their maiden title in the Super Eights of the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championship on Friday. Backed by stars like Manika Batra and Madhurika Patkar, the team defeated England in the finals to repeat their last year’s team championship double-gold medal feat.

The women paddlers beat England 3-0 in a dominating contest to win a historic first gold for India in the tournament’s 48-year history. They dethroned the defending champions who have been winning the trophy since 1997. They won the Cup for eight consecutive times, but Indian team conquered it this time. Indian men paddlers too defended their crown beating England 3-2.

After the team win, Manika Batra withdrew from singles and doubles, and Ayhika grabbed the opportunity to become the champion.

Feature Image Credit: DNA India

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