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TTFI News 07th-Sep-2023
Men end crusade with bronze in team events

New Delhi, November 6: India's men's team went down 0-3 to Chinese Taipei in the semifinals of the 26th ITTF-Asian Table Tennis Championships at Pyeongchang to end their campaign with the bronze medal today. 


With the return of Yun-Ju Lin, their top-ranked player in the world at No. 7, and playing his first match, Taipei needed a little over 82 minutes to dispose of India. 


World No. 26 Chih-Yuan Chuang accounted for A. Sharath Kamal 11-6, 11-6, 11-9, and playing the second rubber, defeated G. Sathiyan 11-5, 11-6, 12-10. But Harmeet, though managed to take the third game against Chen-Jui Kao, lost in 32 minutes. Taipei's world No. 33 beat Harmeet 11-6, 11-7, 7-11, 11-9. 


Except for Manika Batra and Ayhika Mukherjee, who received first-round byes, the other women players--Akula Sreeja, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Diya Chitle--will play their Round of 128 matches later today. The men's singles get underway from tomorrow.   

New Delhi, November 5: The Indian women's squad finished sixth, ending its campaign after losing 0-3 to Thailand in the 26th ITTF-Asian Table Tennis Championships at Pyeongchang today.


Earlier, the Indians beat Singapore 3-2 in a 5-8 positions match before going down 0-3 to Thailand in the fifth-position showdown.


After a fine showing yesterday by our men, the paddlers faltered in the mixed doubles, too.


Manika Batra began well against Jingyi Zhou (11-9, 11-3. 11-6) to put the team on the right path, but Sreeja Akula's loss (7-11, 6-11, 7-11) to Jian Zeng gave Singapore the lifeline. However, Ayhika Mukjerjee's win against Ru Xin Wong provided India a 2-1 lead.


In the reverse singles, Manika failed to overcome Jian Zeng and lost 8-11, 6-11, 7-11, putting pressure on Sreeja to make amends for her earlier loss. And the Hyderabadi pulled off a 3-1 (12-10, 11-3, 9-11, 11-6) win over Jingyi to redeem the team's chances.


But the Thai denied the team as Suthasini Sawettabutt accounted for Sreeja 11-6, 11-5, 11-6, then Orawan Paranang downed Manika 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, 11-6 before Wanwisa Aueawiriyayothin overcame Diya Chitale  15-13, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-8 to grab the fifth position. 


In the mixed doubles, G. Sathiyan and Manika went down 2-3 (11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 8-11, 9-11) in the round of 32 to another Thai pair, Phakpoom Sanguansin and Orawan Paranang. During the match, Manika seemed to have twisted her ankle and needed a 10-minute medical attention. But the Indian duo continued but lost.


Harmeet Desai and Sreeja Akula followed suit and lost to the top-seeded Japanese pair of Tomokazu Harimoto and Hina Hayata 6-11, 7-11, 8-11 in another R32 match. In their first round, the Indian duo beat the Malaysian pair of Shen Qi Wong and Xin Ai Tee 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9. 


The men take on Chinese Taipei in the semifinals tomorrow.  



Men beat Singapore and assured of bronze


New Delhi, November 4: The men paddlers of India, led by A. Sharath Kamal, blanked out Singapore 3-0 to enter the semifinals and the medal zone of the 26th ITTF-Asian Table Tennis Championships at Pyeongchang, Korea, today.


It was India's third semifinal entry in the team championships so far.


But the first rubber of the quarterfinal was not easy despite the final scoreline. After some struggles in the first and second rubbers, India did well to close out on the Singaporeans.


Sharath began on a bright note against the 17-year-old Izaac Quek. But the teenager took the next game to level the score. Nevertheless, the world No. 63 had no answers to the Indian veteran's guiles and conceded the lead. But in the next, the youngster showed his skills on the table and restored parity despite Sharth leading 9-6.


World No. 105 Sharath was in a spot of bother in the decisive fifth as the Singapore boy was two points away (9-6) to seal the first tie. However, Sharath brought all his experience to the table and went 10-9 up, but the fight was not over. Eventually, it ended when Sharath clinched it on the third match point to put India up 1-0 (11-1, 10-12, 11-8, 11-13, 14-12).


“In the fourth, he (Izaac) came back well. But I had a firm grip on the game. In the fifth, however, I trailed throughout. It was good I eventually won,” said Sharath.


Speaking on the young talent, Sharath said he recently lost to the Singaporean in Singapore Smash. “He is a good prospect. I beat him in the CWG, but he was superb in Singapore, and I went 0-3 down to him. It was a good outing, and in the team meeting, we planned that I would play the first rubber,” he said. 


Sathiyan (World No. 102) led 2-0 against Koen Yew En Pang. But the Singaporen fought back a bit in the extended third game, which Sathiyan won 11-6, 11-8, 12-10. Harmeet, the top-ranked Indian in the world at No. 61, took his time before dominating Clarence Chew Zhe Yu as the Indian completed the task. Harmeet won 11-9, 11-4, 11-6.


Sathiyan was equally elated after the win. “After Sharath Anna fought well to give the momentum, I and Harmeet finished well. It was necessary. We are in good shape but won't be satisfied with the bronze, which we are sure of. We will keep pushing ourselves to the limit against Taipei in the semifinals,” he said, thanking everyone for their support.  


The Indian men will meet Chinese Taipei, the second seed, in the semifinals on Wednesday. Taipei beat Iran 3-2.


The Indian women went 0-3 down to Japan in the quarterfinals. Mima Ito beat Ayhika Mukherjee 11-7, 15-13, 11-8, Manika Batra went down 7-11, 9-11, 11-9, 3-11 to Hina Hayata and Miu Hirano downed Sutirtha Mukherjee 11-7, 4-11, 6-11,5-11.


The Indian women will play the fifth position matches next against Singapore.