England suffered double defeat in the Commonwealth Championships team finals against hosts India today, the women losing 3-0 before the men saw a 2-0 lead evaporate as India claimed gold 3-2.

The men’s final saw England come within an handful of points of gold. On paper, it was a tough task for England, with each player outranked by some distance by their opponents. All three Indian players on duty were part of the team which took gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, where Sam Walker and David McBeath were part of the England squad which won bronze.

It was the one player not in Gold Coast who started the match with a big statement as Tom Jarvis dismantled world No 32 Sharath Achanta in three games, none of which he ever looked like losing (the scores were 7, 9, 4) despite being ranked 157 places lower at No 189. It was Jarvis’ biggest career victory, eclipsing that over then world No 43 Gao Ning of Singapore at the Swedish Open in 2017.

Click here to watch the men’s final

Walker, up against world No 24 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, was giving away 64 places in the rankings and it looked as if it would go to plan for the Indian when he opened a 2-0 lead. However, Walker probably should have won the second, which he lead 8-3 before losing 11-9, and he was able to build on that to storm back in the next three to put England 2-0 ahead with a 3-2 (5-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8) scoreline.

McBeath is currently ranked outside the world’s top 500 but is a far better player than that and made a fast start against world No 120 Harmeet Desai, taking the first 11-4. It swung one way then the other and ended up in a decider, with Desai eventually taking it 3-2 (4-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8).

Gnanasekaran was right on his game in the next match, losiing the second game to Jarvis but only allowing his opponent 10 points across the other three games. The scoreline was 3-1 (11-2, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4) in the winner’s favour.

It came down to Walker versus Achanta for gold and it was the host nation favourite who thrilled the crowd with a 3-0 win. It was closer than that scoreline suggests, Achanta coming from 10-6 down to win the first and also taking the second on deuce. The final margin was 15-13, 12-10, 11-6.

The men’s squad with coach Alan Cooke

In the semi-finals, England had a 3-1 win over Malaysia, with Walker winning twice and Jarvis once. Singapore won the bronze medal play-off against Malaysia 3-0. Wales ended in sixth place and Scotland finished 12th.

England women also faced the host nation but had to make do with silver against an Indian line-up featuring two of the gold medal-winning team from the Commonwealth Games last year.

Both of them won – Manika Batra (WR 56) defeating the 416th-ranked Denise Payet in three straight and Madhurika Patkar (WR 112) overcoming Emily Bolton (WR 464) also in three.

Patkar’s victory was the gold medal clincher, with Tin-Tin Ho having gone down 3-1 in the first match to Archana Girish Kamath, the lowest-ranked Indian player at 147 – 39 places below Ho. It hinged on the second game, which went to the Indian 13-11 to level the match, which she went on to win with two 11-9 scorelines in the next two games.

Click here to watch the women’s final

In the semi-finals, England had defeated Nigeria 3-0, with Ho winning in three and both Payet and Bolton in five. Singapore beat Nigeria 3-0 to take the bronze medal. Wales finished in seventh and Scotland in 10th.

The competition now moves on to the individual events beginning this afternoon. Walker is seeded third for the men’s singles, with Jarvis and McBeath starting in the group stage. In the women’s singles, Ho is top seed, with Wales’ Charlotte Carey ranked fourth. Payet and Bolton start in the groups.

In the mixed doubles, which also starts today, Walker & Ho are the second seeds.


Men’s Team
England 3 Malaysia 1
Sam Walker bt Wong Qi Shen 3-1 (11-5, 11-2, 9-11, 11-6)
Tom Jarvis bt Muhamad Rizal 3-1 (12-14, 11-7, 11-6, 11-7)
Leong Chee Feng bt David McBeath 3-2 (9-11, 11-4, 5-11, 12-10, 11-7)
Walker bt Rizal 3-1 (8-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-2)

India 3 England 2
Jarvis bt Sharath Achanta 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-4)
Walker bt Sathiyan Gnanasekaran 3-2 (5-11, 9-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-8)
Harmeet Desai bt McBeath 3-2 (4-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8)
Gnanasekaran bt Jarvis 3-1 (11-2, 6-11, 11-4, 11-4)
Achanta bt Walker 3-0 (15-13, 12-10, 11-6)

Women’s Team
England 3 Nigeria 0
Tin-Tin Ho bt Cecilia Akpan 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-4)
Denise Payet bt Offiong Edem 3-2 (10-12, 11-8, 11-6, 9-11, 11-6)
Emily Bolton bt Ajoke Ojomu 3-2 (7-11, 11-7, 2-11, 11-5, 11-9)

India 3 England 0
Archana Girish Kamath bt Ho 3-1 (8-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-9)
Manika Batra bt Payet 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-3)
Madhurika Patkar bt Bolton 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-6)