With six men and four ladies joining Sharath Kamal and Mouma Das in the main draw of the NCC Indian Open table tennis championship here, the magnitude of home interest became bigger than expected at the end of two days of qualifying phase at the Yamuna Sports Complex on Thursday.
After R. Abhishek, A. Amalraj and Subhajit Saha booked their places in the 32-player draw on Wednesday, Anirban Nandi, Sourav Chakraborty and young Sanil Shetty joined the seeded Sharath Kamal in the men’s singles field.
Another bright spot was provided by Abhishek who scored an encouraging 4-2 victory over fellow-qualifier Germany’s Philipp Floritz in his last league match. .
Among the ladies, where Mouma Das enjoyed a direct entry into the main draw, K. Shamini, Pooja Sahastrabudhe and Nandita Saha joined an already-qualified Madhurika Patkar to complete the Indian challenge.
In the boys’ under-21 section, Sanil Shetty, Harmeet Desai, Soumyajit Ghosh and G. Sathiyan made it by finishing second in their respective groups. Fortune favoured Ankita Das and Pooja Sahastrabudhe in the girls’ under-21 section where they made the main draw by virtue of being ‘lucky losers’. Interestingly, all seven Koreans were among the qualifiers in both sections of the under-21 category.
In the men’s section, Nandi advanced to the knockout stage once Korea’s Han Ji Min defeated Jubin Kumar in the final league match.
Sourav Chakraborty made it at the expense G. Sathiyan with a 4-2 triumph. Shetty, the lone Indian to qualify in two sections, made the men’s draw following a fluent 11-4, 11-8, 12-10, 11-9 victory over Korea’s Kim Gang Woog.
Later, in the under-21 section, Shetty squandered a match-point against Chinese Taipei’s Yeh Chih-Wei in the deciding fifth game but eventually qualified due to his victories over teammates Aman Balgu and Mohit Verma.
The women’s section saw Nandita making the knockout stage when Korea’s Kim Min Hee removed Kasturi Chakroborty from the way. Shamini defeated A. Nivedita 4-0 in the deciding match while Pooja prevailed over Singapore’s Sim Kai Xin Zena in six games to be among the qualifiers.
Men: R. Abhishek, Anirban Nandi, Sanil Shetty, Subhajit Saha, A. Amalraj and Sourav Chakraborty.
Women: K. Shamini, Madhurika Patkar, Pooja Sahastrabudhe and Nandita Saha.
Boys’ U-21: Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty, Soumyajit Ghosh and G. Sathiyan.
Girls’ U-21: Ankita Das and Pooja Sahastrabudhe (both as Lucky Losers).
Keywords: Indian Open