Rediff.com  » Sports » Sharath Kamal goes down to top seed Ning

Sharath Kamal goes down to top seed Ning

Source: PTI
June 05, 2007 15:53 IST
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India's campaign at the 17th Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships came to an end when defending champion Achanta Sharath Kamal crashed out after losing to top seed Gao Ning of Singapore in the semi-finals in Jaipur on Tuesday.

Kamal was beaten by the world No 18 11-13, 10-12, 8-11, 7-11, at the Sawai Mansingh stadium.

Singapore caused India's downfall in the doubles as well, as Shubhajit Saha and Anirban Nandi went down 12-10, 2-11, 7-11, 2-11 to Ning and Yang Zi in the semi-finals and settled for a bronze medal.

In the women's doubles, India's Vishakha Vijay and Sushmita Roy, who reached the semi-finals on Monday riding on two upset victories, went down to the Canadian pair of Mo Zhang and Yuen Sara 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9 and had to also settle for a bronze medal.

Both the men's and women's singles finals will be all-Singapore affairs.

In the men's final, Ning will clash with second seed Yang Zi, who thrashed Nosiru Kazeem of Nigeria 11-8, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6 in another semi-final.

The women's singles final will be played between Gu Wang Yue and Sun Bei Bei. Both Wang and Bei Bei had to fight their way out in the semi-finals that went down to the wire.

Wang edged past Malaysian Lee Wei Beh 6-11, 10-12, 13-11, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 while Sun Bei Bei surpassed Miao Miao of Australia 13-11, 8-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8 in marathon encounters.

It was heartbreak for India in the men's semi-finals, where Kamal lost to Gao, who had earlier beaten him at the Indian Open in Delhi earlier this year.

The scoreline, however, does not suggest Sharath's showing against the Singaporean, especially in the first two games which the Chennai paddler almost pocketed.

World No 94 Sharath's tactics of playing close to table and not allowing Gao room to free his arm worked excellently in the first two games where the Indian enjoyed the upper hand at various moments.

Sharath broke away from 5-all in the first game and took a two-point lead before Gao fought back. It was anybody's game, but the Indian failed to take his chances.

"I played him much better today but there are still some small details that I need to work out to beat top-ranked players," Sharath said after the match.

"It all boils down to taking some risks at crucial moments. But it is easier to say that execute. But I should have won at least one of the first two close games," Sharath said.

The second game also went neck and neck but Sharath lost narrowly. Had the outcome of these two close games gone Sharath's way, it could have been his day.

But Gao was a tough nut to crack and made the next two games look comparatively easy. His ploy of making Sharath play at the corner of the table and score points at the loose end paid rich dividends.

In other results, Merothun Monday and Nosiru Kazeem beat Mohd Shakirin and Kian Beng Chai of Malaysia 9-11, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-7.

Gu Wang and Bei Bei combined to trounce Lee Wei and Sock Khim of Malaysia 7-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-6 in the other women's doubles semi-final.

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