Commonwealth Games 2018: Why Mouma Das refused to celebrate after winning the doubles rubber
While Manika Batra was the star of the show, it was this gesture that stood out from the final.
The Indian women's table tennis team enjoyed an unprecedented run at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as they not only made it all the way to the finals but also bagged the gold medal by beating Singapore.
The final saw Manika Batra producing her best performance at the tournament as she defeated World No 4 Tianwei Feng in the opening rubber.
Then in the fourth rubber, with India needing just one more win to clinch the gold, Batra was nearly impeccable. She completely outplayed Yihan Zhou 11-7, 11-4, 11-7 to affect Singapore's first loss at any women's event since the sport was introduced in the Commonwealth Games.
However, the moment that stood out from the final was at the very end of the doubles rubber. The duo of Mouma Das and Madhurika Patkar were up against the much-fancied Singaporean pair of Mengyu Yu and Yihan Zhou. However, they refused to give in and took the attack to the opposition right from the very start.
While Madhurika was the more attacking of the duo, it was Mouma's experience that saw India pull through. In the first game, the pair took an early lead and managed to hold on to it as they won 11-7. The second game saw them win with a bigger margin (11-6).
Yu and Zhou made a comeback in the third game to keep Singapore's hopes alive. However, Mouma and Madhurika held on to their nerves and eked out a win in the fourth game.
At the very end of the fourth game, with the scores reading 10-7 in favour of the Indians, Mouma and Madhurika decided to take a time-out to calm the flowing adrenaline. As the play resumed, Mouma was recieving the serve.
However, as she returned the serve, the ball brushed off the top of the net and landed on the opponents' court, making it almost impossible for the Singaporeans return.
While the point ensured India took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the final, Mouma did not start celebrating and instead, raised her hand in apology immediately. She knew it was a lucky point and that it was a little bit unfortunate for the Singaporeans. The 34-year-old star then proceeded to shake the hands of her opponents as is the custom, but it appeared more like that she was saying sorry. The crowd in the stadium started applauding the incredible gesture.
It was a terrific act of sportsmanship on the part of Mouma and surely, was the best moment from the final.
Speaking afterwards, Mouma's husband Kanchan Chakraborty told Sportskeeda, "It is about manners, you see. When you win like that, it isn't fair for the opponent and the apology comes automatically."
He also added, "Team spirit is an incredible thing. This team has tremendous bonding and I think that's what worked today."