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Asian Games TT: India men lose in quarters; women exit

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 24, 2023 19:55 IST
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IMAGE: Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images from Rediff Archives

The Indian men's team missed out on an Asian Games bronze medal in table tennis after a second-string South Korea blanked them 3-0 in the quarterfinals Hangzhou on Sunday.

Harmeet Desai lost the first match 0-3 to An Jaehyun. G Sathiyan tried to put up a fight, but it was not enough to get past Park Ganghyeon as India trailed 0-2 after the first two ties.

The onus was on Achantha Sharath Kamal to bring India back into the contest.

However, things did not quite unfold in the manner the Indians would have liked as the veteran from Chennai went down 2-3 to Oh Junsung.

The defeat would have been even more hurting for the Indians as South Korea's top three players did not even play in the match.

Earlier in the day, Sharath raised his game just in time to help India escape unscathed against Kazakhstan.


But the women's table tennis team imploded against a resilient Thailand to bow out of the Games.

Star Indian paddler Manika Batra failed in both her singles matches as the women's team lost 2-3 to a resilient Thailand.

The match against Kazakhstan was locked 2-2 when Sharath Kamal produced a face-saving win in the decisive fifth rubber.

Sharath had lost the opening singles tamely 1-3 ( 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8) to Krill Gerassimenko, the top-ranked player from Kazakhstan.

The world No. 78 started briskly and ended in the same vein, despite Sharath winning the second game.

Sathiyan accounted for Aidos Kenzhigulov 14-12 11-8 11-5 to level the scores before Harmeet put India ahead. The world No. 69 Indian beat Alan Kurumangaliyev 11-7, 12-10, 11-5.

However, Sathiyan faced stiff resistance from Krill in their reverse singles, but the world No. 107 struggled, eventually losing 5-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11.

With the scores tied, much depended on the most experienced Sharath in his reverse singles against Aidos.

Sharath Kamal was caught on the wrong foot and lost the first two games but closed Aidos out with a 5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 in the decisive rubber.

The women went down fighting after Batra fared rather poorly.

The top-ranked Indian at No. 31 lost 7-11, 1-11, 11-13 to left-hander Orawan Paranang, who is ranked No. 67.

But Ayhika Mukherjee repaired the early damage with a significant 18-16, 11-7, 13-15, 11-9 win over Suthasini Sawettabut.

Sutirtha Mukherjee provided the lead when she beat Tamolwan Khetkhuan 11-1, 9-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7.

Ayhika failed to consolidate the lead after leading 2-1 against Orawan as the Thai left-hander changed her strategy in the last two games to outsmart the Indian 10-12, 11-4, 5-11, 11-4, 11-3.

The entire focus shifted to Batra, playing the decisive last rubber. But her struggle in the first game, which she won 12-10, gave a glimpse of not being in the groove.

Finally, Suthasini beat Batra 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 to put Thailand in the quarters.

Thailand will play North Korea on Sunday for a place in the semifinals. 

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