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Olympics TT: Sharath Kamal advances, meets World champ Long next

July 26, 2021 10:09 IST
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Sutirtha Mukherjee exits women's singles after second round defeat.

Achanta Sharath Kamal

IMAGE: India's Achanta Sharath Kamal lost the first game but fought back to get the better of Portugal's Tiago Polonia in the second round of the men's Table Tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday. Photograph: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Veteran Indian table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal overcame a sluggish start to beat Portugal's Tiago Polonia in the second round and set up a clash with defending champion Ma Long at the Tokyo Olympics, on Monday.

 

The 39-year-old Sharath struggled in the first game but pulled himself up just in time to win 2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 in 49 minutes.

The Indian paddler now has a tough match ahead as he takes on the legendary Long, the reigning World champion.

Considered one of the greatest players of all-time, Long has won every singles title in the sport. 

Sutirtha Mukherjee was however overwhelmed by Portugal's Yu Fu in a women's singles second round match.

Sutirtha, who showed remarkable grit for a come-from-behind win over Sweden's Linda Bergstrom in the first round, looked completely off-colour against the world No. 55 and lost 3-11, 3-11, 5-11, 5-11 in 23 minutes.

Sharath's compatriot G Sathiyan had lost his men's singles second round match from an advantageous position on Sunday and exited the competition.

In the women's draw, Manika Batra moved into the third round with an upset win over world No. 32 Margaryta Pesotska of Ukraine on Sunday.

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