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Tokyo Olympics: Table Tennis Day 4, July 27 - Sharath Kamal to face the legendary Ma Long in Round 3 - Preview, Schedule, LIVE streaming, where to watch

The veteran paddler from India Achanta Sharath Kamal will face the reigning World and Olympic champion Ma Long in the Round 3 encounter at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sharath Kamal will face the reigning World and Olympic champion Ma Long

Sharath Kamal will face the reigning World and Olympic champion Ma Long (Source: Olympics Channel)


Kalptaru Agarwal

Updated: 1 Aug 2022 1:26 PM GMT

It is going to be a thrilling Day 4 for all the table tennis fans in India as the only hope left in the table tennis event at the Tokyo Olympics, Sharath Kamal Achanta takes on World No. 3 and the reigning world as well as Olympic champion from China, Ma Long.

Day 3 didn't turn out to be an exciting twenty-four hours for the table tennis contingent of India as both Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee crashed out in their respective rounds. While G.Sathiyan already suffered a close defeat, the journey for the Indian female paddlers also came to an end.

The 26-year old Manika lost out to World No. 17 player Sofia Polcanova, a much higher ranked player from Austria in straight sets by 4-0. Though Batra played some good backhand shots, Polcanova dominated the game from the first set.

On the other hand, the debutant Sutirtha suffered a thrashing defeat by the Portuguese paddler Fu Yu who won the game with a score of 11-3, 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 giving no chance to Mukherjee to make a comeback whatsoever. The young player from India wasn't able to replicate the performance of Round 1 as her Olympic ride comes to an end.

But the veteran player of India, Sharath Kamal played an exceptional match to win the Round 2 battle against Portuguese Tiago Apolonia. He held his nerves after going 1-0 down to his opponent to come back stronger and take the contest by 4-2 and storm into Round 3. Kamal becomes the second Indian to make his way to Round 3 in Table Tennis at the Olympics.

Sharath now faces the biggest challenge of his life in Round 3. He couldn't have asked for a more difficult opponent than Ma Long, who has been the World No. 1 for a total of 64 months (most by any player in the history). Long is at his all-time high winning the title at Rio Olympics and the World Championship in 2019 at Budapest.

Ma Long is considered to be the G.O.A.T in table tennis (greatest of all time) due to the fact that he has 3 Olympics Gold, 12 World Championship titles and 9 World Cups attached to his name along with 2 silver medals and 6 bronze at World level tournaments. Currently ranked 3rd in the world, he is nicknamed "The Dictator" and "The Dragon" due to his sheer class and his life which serves as an inspiration for many.

With 5 straight ITTF Word tour tournament wins in a row (a streak of 35 sets) and a record total of 28 ITTF World Tour titles, he is just unstoppable. Long also captains his Men's table tennis team since 2014 and has produced great results.

The best forehand attacker in the history of table tennis, his tactical play couldn't be deciphered by any player. Ma Long is the youngest to win the World Championship at the age of 17. It would be a herculean task for Sharath to defeat the dominating Chinese paddler, who is at the epitome of his game in table tennis.

Sharath Kamal, on the other hand, is making his fourth appearance at the Olympics. The 39-year old veteran star has made India proud on many occasions, especially at the Commonwealth Games where he won a total of eight medals.

Having an excellent record, Kamal has practiced hard to reach this stage and improved on his last performance in Rio where he suffered a first-round defeat. There was a bit of hesitation at the beginning of Round 2 but he overcame the pressure to take the game which must have given a boost to his confidence.

Sharath Kamal's reaction after winning against Apolonia (Source: Reuters)

The one which could be the last Olympics for the senior table tennis players, Kamal will be aiming to give his all to defeat the World Champion. It will certainly be one of the most difficult matches of his life and he must maintain his composure to deliver a decent performance against Ma Long.

The head-to-head record between the two goes to Ma Long who has 4 wins against the World No. 32 Sharath defeating him in straight sets except once when Kamal won 2 of the 7 set encounters. This is the first time that they are meeting at the Olympics. The match is going to be a thriller as Sharath fights to stay in the mix to win the medal while Ma Long plans to continue his dominance in World Table Tennis.

Schedule and When to Watch?

The mega contest is going to be held at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium where all the table tennis action at the Tokyo Olympics is taking place.

Men's Singles - Round 3

Achanta Sharath Kamal (IND) v Ma Long (CHN) not before 8:30 AM

Live Streaming and Where to Watch?

You can witness the LIVE action on Sony Sports Network channels in India. The coverage will also be available on the Sony Liv application or website which you can live stream if you have the required subscription. You can also watch the mega match on Doordarshan (DD) Sports in India.

Here are the details of broadcasters in some more countries:

Japan: The Japan Consortium

USA: NBC Universal

UK: BBC, Eurosport

China: CCTV

Australia: Seven Network

Germany: ARD-ZDF

Brazil: Grupo Globo, Bandsports

Spain: RTVE

Italy: RAI

France: Eurosport

South Africa: SABC

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