It was a double delight for Soumyajit Ghosh as he bagged both the singles and doubles gold at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF Challenge Chile Open in Santiago.
While top-seeded Ghosh defeated compatriot Anthony Amalraj 4-2 (8-11 13-11 11-6 11-9 4-11 11-7) in the men’s singles final to clinch the title, he combined with Amalraj earlier to win the men’s doubles title.
This is the first time India had won a men’s doubles title on either the ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour.
Ghosh, meanwhile, became the third Indian to win a men’s singles title at an ITTF Challenge Series or ITTF World Tour tournament, while Amalraj became the fourth Indian to reach a final of such a competition.
Sharath Kamal had won the Egypt Open after overcoming Hong Kong’s Li Ching in the title clash in 2010, while at the 2016 ITTF World Tour Belgian Open, G Sathiyan claimed the gold, defeating host nation’s Cedric Nuythinck.
In the final match at Santiago last night, third seed Amalraj made a better start as he clinched the opening game comfortably.
But failed to sustain the rhythm and went down in the second, third and fourth games. Amalraj then made a strong comeback in the fifth game.
However, Ghosh came out all guns blazing in the sixth to emerged on top.
“I’m the third Indian to win such a tournament. I’m really happy. But being the top seed, I felt the pressure all through,” said Ghosh.
Earlier, the Indian duo of Ghosh and Amalraj accounted for Philipp Floritz and Hunor Szocs 4-0 (13-11 10-12 14-12 11 -9).
“This is big for us. It’s the first time we have won such a title and a first for India, too,” said an elated Ghosh.
Twice before India had gone down in the doubles final.
At the ITTF World Tour in Indore in 2009, Sharath Kamal and Subhajit Saha lost in the final to Singapore’s Gao Ning and Yang Zi. More recently in Tweeds Heads, Australia, Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai were beaten by Hong Kong’s Ho Kwan Kit and Lam Siu Hang in the title contest.
“For me, it was the first final and first gold. In more than 10 years of my international career, it has always been China, Japan or Germany. Now that India has won, it is good for the future of table tennis in India,” said Amalraj.