India's team championships campaign ends
TTFI News 24th-Sep-2023
New Delhi, Sept 24: India’s men paddlers crashed out of the team championships, losing in the quarterfinals to South Korea 0-3 at the Asian Games in Hangzhou in the evening today.
Earlier in the day, Indian women bowed out in the pre-quarterfinals when Thailand defeated them 3-2 in a close match.
G. Sathiyan and A. Sharath Kamal took their ties the distance, but the Indians could not do much against a clinical team.
Harmeet Desai began the proceedings and lost to An Jaehyun in straight games of 11-9, 11-8, 11-9. Sathiyan gave some initial hopes, leading 2-0 before succumbing to the onslaught of Park Ganghyen 12-10, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11, 6-11. With a 2-0 cushion, the balance seemed tilted in favour of Korea, despite Sharath winning the first game against Oh Junsung. The Koreans went 2-1 up before conceding another game. But the Indian ace won the next before losing the decider at deuce. The Korean won 2-11, 11-9, 11-1, 2-11, 12-10.
Men struggle to enter quarters after women crash out
New Delhi, Sept 24: It was a close call, but the Indian men’s squad came out unscathed against Kazakhstan in a 3-2 win and entered the quarterfinals to live another day at the Hangzhou Asian Games today.
However, the women imploded against a resilient Thailand and went down 2-3 as Manika Batra failed in both her singles, marking the exit of the squad at the Games.
A. Sharath Kamal lost the opening singles tamely 3-1 ( 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 Kenzhigulov14-12, 11-8, 11-5 to level the score before Harmeet Desai put India ahead. The world No. 69 Indian beat against 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 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 Indians will next meet South Korea in their quarterfinals.
The women went down fighting after Manika Batra 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. And Sutirtha Mukherjee provided the lead when she beat Tamolwan Khetkhuan 11-1, 9-11, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7.
However, Ayhika failed to consolidate the lead after leading 2-1 against Orawan as the Thail 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 and responsibility shifted to Manika, 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 Manika 10-12, 11-8, 11-7, 11-6 to put Thailand in the quarters.
Tough draws stare at Indian paddlers
New Delhi, Sept 23: India completed the group-stage formalities in respective sections at the Asian Games and qualified for the second stage, which is a knockout, according to reports from Hangzhou today.
The Indian men and women squads rested their top guns for the pre-quarterfinals tomorrow. But the bench strength was good enough to win their last Group F encounters.
Manav Thakkar, Manush Shah and Harmeet Desai beat Tajikistan 3-0, and in the women's section, Diya Chitale, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee trounced Nepal by the same margin.
However, the main draw has placed the women in the upper half, clubbed with Thailand, North Korea and China. The Indian paddlers will first match up with Thailand in the pre-quarters, and should they survive, will face North Korea in the quarterfinals. The winners meet China in the semifinals.
The men's squad, drawn in the bottom half, will take on Kazakhstan in the first round, which should be easy, given the reputation of the Indians. However, their next outing in the quarterfinals will be against North Korea, a tough match-up. If they succeed against the Koreans, the Indians will take on Japan, the second seed, in the semifinals.
Men: India bt Tajikistan 3-0 (Manav Thakkar bt Afzalkhon Mahmudov 11-8, 11-5, 11-8, Manush Shah bt Ubaydullo Sultonov 13-11, 11-7, 11-5, Harmeet Desai bt Ibrokhim Ismoilzoda 11-1, 11-3, 11-5).
Women: India bt Nepal 3-0 (Diya Chitale bt Sikka Shrestha 11-1, 11-6, 11-8, Ayhika Mukherjee bt Nabita Shrestha 11-3, 11-7, 11-2, Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Evana Magar Thapa 11-1, 11-5, 11-2).
Men on a sound footing, women struggle past Singapore in a marathon
New Delhi, Sept 22: India's men paddlers had an easy preliminary-round outing in Group F, beating Singapore 3-1, while our women struggled past Singapore 3-2 in a marathon match, also in Group F at the Asian Games, according to reports from Hangzhou today.
G. Sathiyan defeated Izzac Yong Quek 3-1 (5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-9) in the first singles. Soon after, Harmeet Desai accounted for Pang Yew En Koen in a tie that went down to the wire. The top-ranked Indian won 12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 6-11, 11-5 to put India 2-0 up.
However, A. Sharath Kamal ran into early trouble and lost the first two games against Chew Zhe Yu Clarence, ranked No. 180. The Indian won the next game, but it was too late to retrieve the situation as he lost 11-13, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11. Sathiyan, though dropped a game in the reverse singles, beat Pang 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6.
In their first group match, Indian men beat Yemen 3-0.
But the women's team that delivered a severe blow to Singapore in the last Games at Jakarta was not in the thick of form, as Sutirtha Mukherjee lost her singles against Zeng Jian 11-7, 2-11, 7-11, 10-12. Manika Batra, playing the second tie, beat Zhou Jingyi 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 to restore parity. And Sreeja Akula consolidated further, winning her tie 12-14, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 in a lengthy battle.
But Manika lost her reverse singles 3-11, 11-3, 10-12, 12-10, 10-12 to Zeng in another unending match that kept dragging on. The focus shifted to Sutirtha, and the Indian redeemed herself, posting the much-needed victory against Zhou with an 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-5 verdict.
The group match between India and Singapore proved to be the longest as it consumed 205 minutes.
Two teams from each group qualify for the second stage before the 16 teams play the knockout rounds in each section.