The Indian men’s and women’s contingents registered dominating wins on Day 1 in the first preliminary round of the Asian Table Tennis Championships being held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The men were grouped alongside Kuwait and Sri Lanka, the women were pooled with Lebanon and dark horses Jordan.
The Indian men’s and women’s contingents registered dominating wins on Day 1 of the Asian Table Tennis Championships being held in Indonesia to qualify for the second preliminary round in their respective categories.
In the men’s opening tie, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Achanta Sharath Kamal, blanked Kuwait 3-0. Both Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal registered straight game victories. Harmeet Desai, playing the third rubber, also defeated his opponent via straight games making it a clean sweep victory for the Indians.
For the second tie against Sri Lanka, Sathiyan and Harmeet were replaced by the young Manav Vikash Thakkar and the experienced Anthony Amalraj. This time again, the Indians, Thakkar, Amalraj and Sharath Kamal, all registered straight-game wins and made short work of their opposition handing them a 3-0 defeat.
They will now take on Saudi Arabia in the second preliminary round and if they beat the Arabians, they will, in all probability, face Thailand (who should beat Uzbekistan). If Sathiyan and Co. can get the better of Thailand, only then they will qualify for the main round of the tournament.
The first challenge for the women’s team at the Asian Championships came in the shape of Jordan, a team that was being considered as the dark horses before the tournament kicked off. However, Madhurika Patkar, Manika Batra, and Ayhika Mukherjee gave no chance to their opposition and wrapped up the tie 3-0.
In the second tie, they were up against Lebanon. Brimming with confidence after their first victory, the women did not have to break a sweat as they registered another 3-0 victory and matched the men's by completely dominating their group as well.
On Monday, the challenge only gets stiffer for Manika and Co. as they will be pitted against one of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Uzbekistan or Iran in the second preliminary round. The top two teams from this round will make it to the main round.