Soumyajit Ghosh was the difference against Korea as the Indian boys' team made history by ensuring a medal in the World junior table tennis championship in Manama, Bahrain, on Monday.
Seeded fifth, India upstaged fourth-seeded Korea 3-2 in the quarterfinals and tested top seed China to the hilt before losing the first three singles matches.
Ghosh stretched World junior No.2 Lin Gaoyuan to five games, Harmeet Desai took World No.5 Song Hongyuan to a decider before G. Sathiyan forced World No.4 Wu Jiaji to the distance.
Against Korea, Ghosh defeated Kim Dong Hyun in the second singles to make it 2-0 after Harmeet Desai had given a flying start at the expense of Park Chan-Hyeok.
After G. Sathiyan and Desai lost the following two singles, it was left to Ghosh to ensure India's victory. He dropped the opening game before running away with the next three.
Among the girls, 10th seed India enjoyed a first-round bye before losing 0-3 to Japan.
In the matches for positions 9 to 20, India defeated Australia 3-0 and Croatia 3-1.
The results: Team championship: Boys: Semifinals: China beat India 3-0 (Lin Gaoyuan bt Soumyajit Ghosh 11-2, 6-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6; Song Hongyuan bt Harmeet Desai 11-5, 9-11, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6; Wu Jiaji bt G. Sathiyan 11-13, 11-6, 8-11, 11-3, 11-8). Quarterfinals: China bt Belgium 3-0; India beat Korea 3-2 (Harmeet Desai bt Park Chan-Hyeok 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5; Soumyajit Ghosh bt Kim Dong Hyun 11-8, 11-9, 11-9; G. Sathiyan lost to Baek Kwang Il 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11; Desai lost to Kim Dong Hyun 2-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-14; Ghosh bt Park Chan-Hyeok 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7); France bt Chinese Taipei 3-0; Japan bt Russia 3-0.
Girls (positional matches): India beat Croatia 3-1 (Mallika Bhandarkar bt Ivana Tubikanec 6-11, 13-11, 11-6, 11-7; Manika Batra lost to Petra Petek 5-11, 6-11, 7-11; Ankita Das bt Lea Rakovac 11-8, 11-9, 7-11, 11-8; Manika bt Ivana 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 13-11).
Keywords: World junior table tennis championship