Asian Championships: Sharath Kamal lone Indian to enter singles PQF

Achanta Sharath Kamal Table TennisNew Delhi: A. Sharath Kamal was the lone Indian standing tall, having reached the men singles pre-quarterfinals at the Seamaster 2017 Asian Championships at Wuxi, China, today.

The top-ranked in Indian in the world beat Ro Kwang Jin of DPR Korea 11-5, 11-7, 14-12 in the round of 32 to move ahead. He will next meet Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang in the pre-quarterfinals.

As for the other Indian in fray, Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty bowed out in the round of 32. Ghossh lost to Koki Nawa (Japan) 3-11, 4-11, 5-11, Desai went down 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 4-11 and Shetty lost in straight games of 10-12, 8-11, 6-11 to Korean Lee Sangshu. G. Sathiyan could not do much against his second round opponent and he failed to go past him.

Since the singles draw had 128 players, it was a busy day for the Indians in both sections as they began their campaign as early as at 9 a.m., playing round after round with only top eight players getting first round byes. The Indians had easy passages in the first two rounds but the third round posed problems.

However, Sharath continued his good form and defeated the North Korean who, despite putting up a brave front in the third game in which he stretched the Indian, saved three match points after the third game saw several deuces.

Earlier, Madhurika Patkar, Pooja Sahasrabuddhe, Suthirtha Mukherjee and Manika Batra all lasted just the first round and failed to go beyond the round of 64. However, veteran Mouma Das entered the third round where Taipei’s Cheng I Ching downed the Indian 11-9, 11-6, 11-6.

In doubles, too, Indians could not make much of an impression except in the women’s section, when Manika Batra and Mouma Das progressed up to the quarters. Unfortunately for them, they ran into the Chinese pair of Zhe Yuling and Chen Meng and after waging a good fight lost 7, 11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8. The men’s pairs of Sharath and Sanil Shetty and Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai bowed out in the pre-quarterfinals.