Paddlers beat Sri Lanka to create history
Bangladesh clinched a gold medal for the first time in their South Asian Junior and Cadet Table Tennis Championships history as the paddlers in red and green beat their Sri Lankan counterparts 3-2 in the boy's U-19 team final in Male, Maldives today.
Bangladesh team -- featuring Muhtasin Ahmed Ridoy, Ramhim Lion Bom and Nafis Iqbal -- initially led the five-game match 2-0 but Sri Lanka team, comprising Chanul, Thisara and Hiruna, bounced back to level the margin in the next two matches. In the deciding match, Bangladesh national champion Ridoy held his nerves to steer Bangladesh into a new chapter in its sporting history.
It was Ridoy who put Bangladesh on the front foot by winning 11-9, 13-11, 9-11 and 11-6 before Ramhim capitalised on the momentum despite losing the first set 12-10 as he won the next three sets 13-11, 11-8 and 11-6.
Sri Lanka found steam from then on as Nafis lost in straight sets in game three with scores 11-9, 12-10 and 11-3 against Bangladesh's favour. The fourth set saw Ramhim go down 13-11, 9-11, 11-9 and 11-4 without much fight.
In the end, Ridoy was there to pull off the rescue act and even though the national champion lost the first set 11-8, he trumped the next three in identical score-lines of 11-9.