Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran qualified for the round of 16 while India’s challenge in the women’s singles came to an end at the ongoing 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championship in Lusail Sports Arena, Doha, Qatar.
Veteran Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal stormed into the round of 16 after defeating Dzhalil Zokhiri of Tajikistan. The Indian paddler outclassed his opponent 3-0 (11-6, 11-3, 11-4). He will face Mohammed Abdulwahhab of Qatar in the next round later today.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran qualified for the next round after beating Ahmad Khalil Al-Mohannadi of Qatar 3-1 (11-2, 11-6, 7-11, 11-9) in the round of 32. Sathiyan will take on 25-year-old Kazuhiro Yoshimura of Japan in his next match.
Sanil Shetty lost a nail-biting thriller against Shunsuke Togami of Japan. Even after taking a 2-1 lead, the paddler went down 2-3 (7-11, 11-9, 13-11, 9-11, 9-11). His countryman, Manav Vikash Thakkar suffered the same fate. Manav went down 1-3 (10-12, 5-11, 11-8, 11-13) in a closely fought match against Kirill Gerassimiinko of Kazakhstan.
In the women’s singles, all the Indian paddlers were unable to progress into the last 16. Ayhika Mukherjee lost 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-3) to Saki Shibata in a one-sided tie. Sreeja Akula suffered the same fate. She went down 3-0 (11-8, 12-10, 11-4) to Tokyo Olympics team bronze medalist Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong.
Sutirtha Mukherjee was beaten by Japanese paddler Minami Ando. Sutirtha took the first game but was unable to hold onto her lead before finally bowing out 1-3 (11-9, 6-11, 7-11, 7-11). Finally, Archana Girish Kamath was also crushed out of the tournament by 17-year-old South Korean paddler Shin Yu-bin. She lost her round of 32 tie 3-0 (11-3, 14-12, 11-8).
With their exit, Sathiyan and Sharath remain India’s only hope on the singles event.