Tokyo Paralympics: Sonalben Patel loses against China's Li Qian in para table tennis opener
Sonalben Patel falls short against China's Li Qian in India's opening game of table tennis at the Tokyo Paralympics.
India's para table tennis player and world World no. 19 Sonalben Patel loses against two-time Paralympic medallist China's Li Qian by 2-3 in the opening game of the Group D of the Class 3 event in women's table tennis at the Tokyo Paralympics on Wednesday.
Patel was off to an impressive start with an 11-9 margin win in the first game, which she wrapped in six minutes. It was a neck-to-neck contest, where Indian capitalised through three consecutive points in the end. Into the second game, the two-time Paralympic medallist from China took the charge and registered a comfortable lead over Sonal. The rallies got pretty long, but Sonal failed to make a comeback and gave away the game by 3-11.
The third game saw Sonal holding on with perseverance and keeping a close tab with Qian. A nail-biting contest ensued the longest rally being fought of 13 shots. Both the paddlers fired intense shots and Sonal fought to get the better of Qian by 17-15, in the longest game.
Qian levelled up the match at 2-2, as she registered an 11-7 win in the third game. And it was all set for a crucial decider in Game 5. At the interval, Qian took a 6-2 lead. She further extended the lead and won the decider 11-6 to win the match by 3-2.