Asian Table Tennis Championships: Men’s doubles teams confirm two medals for India

Sharath Kamal-G Sathiyan and Harmeet Desai-Manav Thakkar reached the men’s doubles semi-finals and guaranteed India at least two more bronze medals.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by 2019 Getty Images

Indian table tennis players confirmed two more medals at the Asian Table Tennis Championships 2021 in Doha, Qatar by qualifying for the men’s doubles semi-finals on Sunday.

Tokyo Olympians Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran prevailed over Singapore’s Zhe Yu Chew and Kun Ting Beh 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 12-10) in the last eight to make the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar also made it to the top four after knocking out the top-seeded pair of Noshad Alamiyan and Nima Alamian of Iran in straight games (12-10, 11-5, 11-6).

They will win bronze even if they lose their respective semi-final matches.

The possibility of an all-Indian final is also open as the two pairs don’t face each other in Monday’s semi-finals.

Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar will face South Korea’s Woojin Jang and Jonghoon Lim while Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan take on Japan’s Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami in the final four.

India have already won a bronze in the men’s team event.

However, unlike the doubles competition, results didn’t go in India’s favour in the singles events.

Four-time Olympian Sharath Kamal reached the quarter-finals of the men’s singles but went down to former world bronze medallist Lee Sangsu of South Korea 0-3 (8-11, 8-11, 9-11).

While Sanil Shetty and Manav Thakkar could not go past the round of 32, G Sathiyan was knocked out in the pre-quarters by Kazuhiro Yoshimura of Japan. Sathiyan lost his match 1-3 (9-11, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11).

Women’s challenge ends

Indian women’s players’ run in the competition also came to an end on Sunday.

In singles, Archana Kamath, Sutirtha Mukerjee, Ayhika Mukherjee, Sreeja Akula all suffered losses in their respective round of 32 matches.

The women’s doubles team of Sutirtha Mukerjee and Ayhika Mukherjee also exited the competition in the quarter-finals, going down 2-3 (4-11, 5-11, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11) to Japan’s Miyu Nagasaki and Minami Ando.