Wed, 06 Dec 2023

Hangzhou [China], September 24 (ANI): The Indian men's table tennis team bowed out of the ongoing Asian Games in Hangzhou after a loss to South Korea in the quarterfinal on Sunday.

In the quarterfinal match, India lost by a clean sweep (0-3) to South Korea.

In the first match of the tie, Harmeet Desai took on Jaehyun An. Desai lost the match by 9-11, 8-11, 9-11. It gave South Korea a 1-0 lead in the game.

In the next match, Sathiyan Gnanaskeran took on Ganghyeon Park. Sathiyan put on a fighting effort, but lost the match by 2-3 (12-10, 12-5, 7-11, 8-11, 6-11). Sathiyan picked up victories in the first two games but lost the next three. South Korea led by 2-0.

In the final match of the tie, veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal took on Junsung Oh. But this match also, India lost by 2-3 (11-2, 9-11, 1-11, 11-2, 10-12). Hence, South Korea progressed to the semis by beating India by 3-0.

Earlier, Indian men's table tennis team sealed their place in the quarterfinals of the team event after clinching victory in a nail-biting contest against Kazakhstan in the Asian Games on Sunday. India's 41-year-old paddler Sharath Kamal stole the show by stepping up when the game was slipping away from the hands of the Indian team.

In the men's round of 16 match between India and Kazakhstan, experienced paddler Sharath Kamal lost the opener by 1-3 (8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11) to Kirill Gerassimenko.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran with his sheer grit and determination brought India back by clinching a 3-0 victory in the second match (14-12, 11-8, 11-4) against Aidos Kenzhigulov.

Harmeet Desai came into the action to take on Alan Kurmangaliyev in the third singles and he didn't disappoint. Desai defeated Alan Kurmangaliyev by 3-0 (11-7, 12-10, 11-5) which momentarily gave India a 2-1 lead in the round of 16 tie.

Sathiyan came back and had a chance to finish the tie here itself as he levelled the score with two games all against Gerassimenko after winning the fourth by 11-5.

However, Gerassimenko bounced back to claim the decider by 11-5 and take away the fourth match. The tie went to the decider between Sharath Kamal and Aidos Kenzhigulov.

The veteran paddler lost the opening game 5-11 to Kenzhigulov and conceded another defeat in the second game 7-11.

India was on the brink of crashing out of the event after losing the first two games, but he pulled out a rabbit from the hat by winning the third 9-11.

He went on to make it 2-2 in the deciding singles after clinching the fourth game by 11-8.

Sharath managed to move ahead and lead the opposition paddler by 6-5. Kenzhigulov didn't allow him to build on that lead as he levelled the score at 6-6 and then 7-7.

Sharath with all his experience completed an incredible turnaround and took away the fifth game and the entire match. (ANI)

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