The Indian women’s team topped its group to secure a direct entry into the quarterfinals while the men will fight it out in the round of 16 after finishing third in their group in the second division of the World Team Table Tennis Championships on Thursday.
Indian women got past Bulgaria 3-2 in Group G which they topped with five wins in as many matches. Given a bye in the first round of the knock out stage, India faces the winner of the Egypt-Brazil match in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
The men’s team, led by A. Sharath Kamal, finished third in Group F behind Iran and Italy though all three teams had nine points and suffered a loss each. A loss against Italy on Wednesday from a winning position cost India dear. It will take on Egypt on Friday.
“It is a pity the way we lost against Italy. Harmeet lost a close match he should have won,” Indian coach Peter Engel said of the 3-2 loss against Italy. Desai lost the decider 3-1 and was leading 9-1 in the fourth before Niagol Stoyanov turned it around to win the game 24-22 and thus the match.
“Sometimes one game can make all the difference. We would have topped the group had Harmeet won. We could have beaten Italy and lost to Iran,” said Engel.
The results: Men: India bt Paraguay 3-0 (A. Sharath Kamal bt Alejandro Toranzos 11-4, 11-8, 11-1; A. Amalraj bt Marcelo Aguirre 11-1, 11-6, 11-7; Sanil Shetty bt Axel Gavilan 11-3, 11-3, 13-11).
Women: India bt Bulgaria 3-2 (Manika Batra bt Anelia Karova 7-11, 11-4, 14-12, 11-8; K. Shamini lost to Sibel Remzi 9-11, 5-11, 11-6, 13-11, 6-11; Ankita Das bt Ivanka Angelova 11-6, 7-11, 14-12, 11-8; Manika Batra lost to Sibel Remzi 11-8, 11-8, 11-8; K. Shamini bt Anelia Karova 11-5, 11-9, 11-7).
Keywords: Table Tennis Championships