Tough draws stare at Indian paddlers in Asian Games

Saturday, 23 September 2023 (17:04 IST)
India completed the group-stage formalities in respective sections at the Asian Games and qualified for the second stage,which is a knockout, according to reports from Hangzhou on Saturday, the Table Tennis Federation of India said Saturday.

The Indian men and women squads rested their top guns for the pre-quarterfinals tomorrow. But the bench strength was good enough to win their last Group F encounters.Manav Thakkar, Manush Shah and Harmeet Desai beat Tajikistan 3-0, and in the women's section, Diya Chitale, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee trounced Nepal by the same margin.

However, the main draw has placed the women in the upper half, clubbed with Thailand, Korea and China. The Indian paddlers will first match up with Thailand in the pre-quarters, and should they survive, will face South Korea in the quarterfinals. The winners meet China in the semifinals.

The men's squad, drawn in the bottom half, will take on Kazakhstan in the first round, which should be easy, given the reputation of the Indians.However, their next outing in the quarterfinals will be against South Korea, a tough match-up. If they succeed against the Koreans, the Indians will take on Japan,the second seed, in the semifinals.


Men: India bt Tajikistan 3-0 (Manav Thakkar bt Afzalkhon Mahmudov 11-8, 11-5, 11-8, Manush Shah bt Ubaydullo Sultonov 13-11, 11-7, 11-5,Harmeet Desai bt Ibrokhim Ismoilzoda 11-1, 11-3, 11-5).

Women: India bt Nepal 3-0 (Diya Chitale bt Sikka Shrestha 11-1, 11-6, 11-8, Ayhika Mukherjee bt Nabita Shrestha 11-3, 11-7, 11-2,Sutirtha Mukherjee bt Evana Magar Thapa 11-1, 11-5, 11-2).

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