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Sharath Kamal loses in first round

September 08, 2006 15:40 IST

India's top paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal crashed out in the first round of the Volkswagen Singapore Open, losing to Tang Peng of Hong Kong in straight games on Friday.

The 119th-ranked Sharath Kamal, who had to qualify for the main draw of the ITT pro-tour event, lost 9-11, 3-11, 6-11, 8-11 to the 55th ranked player.

The Chennai boy had been in top form throughout the year and became the first Indian to reach the semi-finals of an ITTF Pro tour event in Brazil, but could not do much against his more fancied opponent, who will face Singapore's Yang Zi in the next round.

Sharath started off well, stretching his opponent to nine points in the first game, but Tang did not give him any chance in the next two games.

A late resistance by Sharath in the fourth game was not enough to prolong the match and the Hong Kong paddler advanced in the elite tournament.

The Indian had on Thursday fended off a strong challenge from Japan's Koichi Takeya to top his group and book a place in the main draw.

Other Indians in the fray, Soumyadeep Roy and national champion Subhajit Saha failed to get past the qualifiers.

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