India’s top-ranked Table Tennis player Sharath Kamal won a five-game thriller to propel to the second round of the World Table Tennis Contender event in Doha. Meanwhile, the world no. 37 Gnanasekaran Sathiyan crashed out of the tourney after being outclassed by Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri.
With the 2021 Tokyo Olympics still uncertain, Indian paddlers were still looking forward to the World Table Tennis Contender event as vital preparation time, in case the Games take place. In the first round of matches, world no. 32 Sharath Kamal won a five-game thriller against Czech Republic’s Pavel Sirucek, with scores of 17-15, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9.
“I am very happy with the way I could execute my plans. Before the match, I thought he was the favourite. Though his ranking is 51, he has progressed very well in the past couple of seasons. I had planned to catch him by being quicker on my feet. I could beat him on speed, not on power. ” said Sharath Kamal, to Sportstar, after the win.
“Throughout the match, I thought I was ahead of him but he did not let me breathe easy. He kept coming back. I am glad I could keep my cool, and head, to go through,” he added.
The top-ranked Indian paddler will be up against Chinese Taipei’s Yun-Ju Lin, currently ranked 7th in the world.
Meanwhile, Gnansekaran Sathiyan, ranked 37th in the world, was outclassed by Nigerian Aruna Quadri in straight games, the final score reading 11-7, 11-4, 11-8.