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Asian Games

Asian Games: Indian men's & women's table tennis teams advance to knockouts with 3-0 wins

Indian men's and women's table tennis teams overwhelmed Tajikistan and Nepal in their final group stage ties as they advanced to the Round of 16.

Asian Games: Indian mens & womens table tennis teams advance to knockouts with 3-0 wins

India men's table tennis team after winning their matches against Tajikistan. (Photo credit: SAI Media)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 23 Sep 2023 6:26 AM GMT

Indian men's and women's table tennis teams advanced to the Round of 16 as the group toppers following their identical 3-0 win over Nepal and Tajikistan in their respective Pool F ties on Saturday.

Following their win over Yemen and Singapore on Friday, the Indian men's team, the bronze medallist of the 2018 Asian Games, made a quick work of Tajikistan to secure an entry into the knockouts.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Achanta Sharath Kamal were rested.

Opening the contest, Manav Thakkar got the better of Mahmudov Afzalkhon 3-0.

In the first game, a topsy turve action followed, with Manav getting off to a blitzkreig start with a 9-8 lead before taking 1-0 lead in the match at 11-8.

Manav, with his wristy flicks and spins, overwhelmed Mahmudov in the second game 11-5. In the third game too, Manav, the world no. 86, broke away to a 10-7 from 7-7. He wrapped the match at 11-8.

With India leading 1-0 in the tie, young Manush Shah survived a scare against Ubaydullo Sultonov.

The 18-year-old Indian trailed 5-7 in the first game and then 7-9. Despite lacking exprience, Manush held on to his nerves to force a deuce and won the game 13-11.

In the second game, Manush made a slow start to draw level at 5-5 befoe unleashing a brilliant spin to gain a 7-5 lead. He would quickly earn four points to win the game 11-8.

The Gujarat paddler broke away to a 6-3 lead in the third game and handed Sultonov a 11-5 defeat. With this win, India too a 2-0 lead in the contest.

Harmeet Desai, the top-ranked men's singles player in India at world no. 69, made it 3-0 cleansweep for India with a 14-minute win over Ibrokhim Ismoilzoda.

Dominating the match from the word go, Harmeet registered a comfortable 11-1, 11-3, 11-5 win to take India through to the Round of 16.

Women's team overwhelms Nepal

Earlier, Diya Chitale, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee won their second Pool F contest against Nepal in identical fashion.

With Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula resting, Diya opened the contest for India women with an 11-1, 11-6, 11-8 win over Sikka Shrestha.

Indian women's table tennis team.

Ayhika would school Nabita Shrestha with a 15-minute win in the following match. The Indian's anti-spin rubber and deceptions kept the Nepalese paddler guessing throughout the contest. Ayhika would eventually win 11-3, 11-7, 11-2.

Sutirtha would complete the thrashing of Nepal in 14 minutes in the third match as she beat Evana Thapa Magar 11-1, 11-5, 11-2.

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