New Delhi: India’s campaign in the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Table Tennis Championships came to an end when G. Sathiyan, our last man in fray, went down fighting to Lin Gaoyuan 1-3 in the quarterfinals at Yogyakarta on Friday evening.
Sathiyan, who won several hearts with his performance during the championships, made all that was possible of him, but his progress was halted by the World No. 4 Chinese, who needed 40 minutes to see off the Indian 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8.
But the World No. 30 was not found wanting in his efforts as he managed to take a game off his renowned rival counters proved too hot for Sathiyan to handle.
With a heavy heart, the Indian said: “I was playing against World No.4 and was definitely the underdog. I had my chance and really fought hard. The fourth game was close, and the story could have been different if I had pushed it to 9-9. Yet, I am happy with my performance because after 43 years another Indian had entered the quarterfinals,” he said.
But he also rued the fact that he missed the second chance to create history. “A historic medal was in the offing. I missed it now. Earlier, Sharath bhaiya and I last narrowly in the doubles, especially in the decider,” he said.
In fact, Sathiyan suffered a similar fate in the doubles when he and partner Sharath Kamal lost out to Chinese pair of Liang Jingkun and Lin Gaoyuan. However, it was extremely exciting for the crowd because Liang and Lin needed the full five games and 45 minutes to end the hopes of Sathiyan and Sharath to win 11-6, 10-12, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9.