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HomeSportsWorld Table Tennis Team Championships: Indian Men, Women Paddlers Move To Pre-Quarterfinals

World Table Tennis Team Championships: Indian Men, Women Paddlers Move To Pre-Quarterfinals

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Harmeet Desai won the decisive fifth rubber to steer Indian men’s team to pre-quarterfinals while the women’s team strolled into the last-16 stage of the World Table Tennis Team Championships with an easy 3-0 victory in Busan, South Korea on Wednesday. The men’s team had to toil hard to edge Kazakhstan 3-2 but the women’s team had an easy day out as it blanked Italy 3-0 to move to the next round. The men’s team will now compete against the powerful South Koreans while the women will take on Chinese-Taipei, later on Wednesday.

Harmeet lost the opening match 2-3 to Kirill Gerassimenko (9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 7-11, 11-8) before senior teammate and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sharath Kamal brought India on level terms with a come-from behind 3-2 victory over Alan Kurmangaliyev.

The age-defying 41-year-old Sharath Kamal dug deep into his reserves after being two games down to turn the tide against his Kazakh opponent.

Sharath Kamal finally won 6-11, 7-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9.

G. Sathiyan then gave India a 2-1 lead after a minor lapse of concentration in the second game, finally notching up an easy 3-1 victory.

The two-time CWG gold medallist in team event, Sathiyan won the opening game 11-6 but lost the next game tamely 5-11. He recovered from the lapse to win the last two game 11-2, 11-7, giving his opponent absolutely no chance, as his top spin earned him the maximum points.

Sharath Kamal though lost his second singles match 1-3 to Kirill Gerassimenko (4-11, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11) as Kazakhstan levelled the scores.

Harmeet did not show any signs of nerves in the decider and won 3-1 (11-6, 11-8, 8-11, 11-7).

In the women’s section, Sreeja Akula defeated Nikoleta Stefanova 12-10, 11-6, 11-8, while Manika Batra crushed Giorgia Piccolin 12-10, 11-6, 11-5.

Ayhika Mukherjee sealed the tie with a 15-13, 11-9, 13-15, 11-8 win over Gaia Monfardini.

(Except for the headline, )

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