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Asian Cup: Indian paddlers handed tough draw
Table tennis legend Achanta Sharath Kamal and top-ranked Indian G Sathiyan will have their task cut out as they face a tough draw at the ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Tournament.
Table tennis legend Achanta Sharath Kamal and top-ranked Indian G Sathiyan will have their task cut out as they face a tough draw at the ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup Tournament beginning Thursday in Bangkok.
World No. 44 Achanta Sharath Kamal, who is set to receive the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, will run into Chinese Taipei's Chuang Chih-Yuan, ranked No. 16, while world No. 39 Sathiyan will open against 26th-ranked Yukiya Uda from Japan.
World No. 44, Manika Batra will be the lone Indian woman competitor in the USD 200,000 prize money event and she will be up against Chinese Chen Xingtong, ranked world No. 7 and seeded No. 3, in the opening round at the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium.
The men's and women's singles event of the 33rd edition of the event, held in a direct knockout format for the first time, has the top 16 Asian players, including No. 1 seed Wang Chuqin and Lin Gaoyuan from China, seeded No. 3 and two strong Japanese contenders in No. 2 seed Tomokazu Harimoto and Yukiya Uda.
Both Sathiyan and Sharath achieved sixth positions -- so far their best finish -- in the 2019 edition in Yokohama and the 2015 edition in Jaipur, respectively.
Sharath has been in good form this year, having claimed three gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, while Sathiyan too was part of the gold-medal winning men's team in Birmingham, where he also picked up a silver in men's doubles and bronze in singles.