Desai wins Brazil Open table tennis
Harmeet Desai won the gold medal in the men's under-21 category of the Brazil Open table tennis championship in Santos on Saturday.
In the final, he beat Belgium’s Cedric Nuytin 4-2 to become the first Indian to achieve such a feat. In the six-game affair, Desai won 11-3, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6. Earlier, the No 4 seed had beaten Olympic-bound compatriot Soumyajit Ghosh 10-12, 11-8, 6-11, 11-1, 11-4, 11-4 in the semi-finals.
Desai said he needed to win the title after a long drought. “I haven’t won a title for nearly a year. Cedric was good with his game, often surprising with some great attacks. In the decider, I kept my cool and returned whatever he sent back,” said Desai.
The title contest turned out to be an exciting one as both finalists were in great from after causing upsets in the earlier rounds. Coach Bhawani Mukherjee praised his ward. “Desai maintained the intensity that was needed in the final. Even otherwise, he was good through the entire tournament,” said Mukherjee.