FALCONS TTC emerged champions of the inaugural CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the country’s newest franchise sports league after beating Shazé Challengers 14-9 in the final at the NSCI in Mumbai on July 30.
According to the tournament rules, in the knockout stage the team that secures 14 points first is declared winner.
Li Ping put Shazé Challengers ahead with a 2-1 win over Sanil Shetty in the men’s singles, the opening match of the tie.
However, in-form Wu Yang swept aside Mouma Das (Shazé Challengers) 3-0 in the women’s singles to hand the lead to Falcons TTC 4-2.
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian) and Falcons TTC’s pair of Sanil Shetty and Lee Ho Ching brushed aside Soumyajit Ghosh and Petrissa Solja 3-0 to extend their team’s lead to 7-2.
Croatian Andrej Gacina of Shazé Challengers beat Briton Liam Pitchford 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign player category). Falcons TTC led 8-4 at this stage.
Wu Yang then recorded her second 3-0 win of the day to take Falcons TTC closer to victory at 11-4, as she beat China-born German world No 9 Han Ying 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category).
Liam Pitchford rallied to beat Soumyajit Ghosh (Shazé Challengers) 2-1 in men’s singles to place Falcons TTC at the doorstep of victory at 13-5.
However, Han Ying put it across Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 to lift Shazé Challengers to 8-13 before Par Gerell rallied to seal the title at 14-9 for Falcons after losing the opening game to Li Ping.
While the Mumbai audience turned up in huge numbers to cheer their favourite table tennis stars, the evening also saw an assemblage of the country's big wigs that included celebrated Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan accompanied by his actor-son Abhishek Bachchan, Piyush Goel (minister of state with independent charge for power, coal, new and renewable energy and mines in the Govt of India), Satish Mathur (Director General, Maharashtra Police), Harsh Goenka (Chairman, RPG Enterprises), former India cricketer Farokh Engineer, actor Rahul Bose, Indian hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki who added to the fervour of the final day's proceedings.
MVP Male - Liam Pitchford - Rs. 1 Lakh
MVP Female - Wu Yang - Rs. 1 Lakh
Ultimate One - Wu Yang (456 Points) - Rs. 1.5 Lakhs
Shaze Challengers 9-14 Falcons TTC
MS - Li Ping beat Sanil Shetty 2-1 (11-9, 11-10, 7-11)
WS - Mouma Das lost to Wu Yang 3-0 (6-11, 2-11, 3-11)
MD - Soumyajit Ghosh/ Petrissa Solja lost to Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching 0-3 (9-11, 3-11, 8-11)
MS - Andrej Gacina beat Liam Pitchford 2-1 (11-3, 10-11, 11-7)
WS - Han Ying lost to Wu Yang 0-3 (10-11, 4-11, 8-11)
MS - Soumyajit Ghosh lost to Liam Pitchford 1-2 (11-5, 10-11, 7-11)
WS - Han Ying beat Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-7)
MS - Li Ping - Par Gerell 1-1 (11-8, 9-11)