Asian Games: Indian table tennis teams off to winning starts

NEW DELHI: The Indian table tennis teams started their journey in the Asian Games competition on Friday with the men’s team achieving victory in both of their preliminary round matches. Meanwhile, the women’s team displayed their strength by defeating a formidable Singapore side at the GSP Gymnasium.
During the morning session, the Indian men’s team dominated Yemen with a flawless 3-0 victory in their opening match. Later in the evening session, they once again took to the table and secured a 3-1 win over Singapore in the preliminary round of Group F.

On the other hand, the women’s team faced a tough battle against Singapore and emerged victorious with a score of 3-2. Seasoned players Manika Batra and Ayhika Mukherjee contributed with one win and one loss each, while Sreeja Akula’s victory played a pivotal role in India’s triumph in a Group F match.
The men’s team set a winning precedent as the 41-year-old Achanta Sharath Kamal, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, and Harmeet Desai made effortless 3-0 wins in their respective matches against Yemen.

India men’s TT team starts Asian Games with 3-0 win over Yemen

They came back to the court in the evening with Sathiyan starting off by beating Yong Izaac Quek 3-1 (5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6). Harmeet Desai made it 2-0 for India with a hard-fought 12-10, 11-8, 6-11, 6-11, 11-5 win, failing to close out the match in three games.
India had a scare of sorts when Commonwealth Games men’s singles gold medallist Sharath Kamal went down to the 123-ranked Zhe Yu Clarence Chew 11-13, 6-11, 12-10, 6-11.
Sathiyan then stepped up to the table to beat Yew En Koen Pang 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, and 11-6 to seal victory for India.
In the women’s section, the Indian team started off on a disappointing note when Ayhika went down in four games to Jian Zeng after winning the first game, 11-7, 2-11, 7-11, 10-12.
Manika pulled India level by beating Jingyi Zhou 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 11-3 and Sreeja Akula made it 2-1 for India with a hard-fought 12-14, 11-9, 11-8, 7-11.

But just when India thought of wrapping up the match with Manika at the table, things went south for them as the Indian lost to Jian Zeng 3-11, 11-3, 10-12, 12-10, 10-12 in a nerve-jingling encounter.
However, the Indian women could not be denied on Friday as Ayhika then stepped up and defeated Jingyi Zhou 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5 to clinch the match for India.
(With IANS Inputs)


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