The Indian men's team booked a quarterfinal berth in the ITTF Asian Table Tennis Championships with a 3-0 win over Thailand here on Monday.
After blanking out Kuwait and Sri Lanka with identical 3-0 wins in the group stages yesterday, India entered the knockout stage of the 1st Division.
In the knockout stage they defeated Saudi Arabia (3-1) and followed it up with a 3-0 triumph over Thailand to enter the final of the 1st Division.
In the main draw, where eight teams compete against each other, only the finalists of the 1st Division qualify for the Champions Division with top six teams drawn from the last championships held at Wuxi in 2017, directly making the grade.
In their match against Thailand, Sharath Kamal defeated Padasak Tanviriyavechakul 8-11, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-2 to put India up. It was quite a struggle for the world No. 41 as he, after going 2-1 up, made some crucial errors which helped the Thai claw his way back. But the experienced Indian didn't yield any ground and sealed the game.
In the second tie, G Sathiyan consolidated India's position further beating Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon 9-11, 11-6, 11-9, 11-1.
With a 2-0 cushion, it should have been easy for Harmeet Desai, but the Surat lad struggled before overcoming Yanapong Panagitgun 11-3, 9-11, 5-11, 13-11, 13-11 to put India in the final. But, most importantly, it earned India a quarterfinal berth in the Champions Division where they will run into either Japan or Chinese Taipei after the draw.
The Indian women, who did well to enter the 1st Division after winning their group stage matches yesterday against Lebanon and Jordan with 3-0 verdicts. They managed to register a 3-0 win against Uzbekistan before losing to Thailand 0-3. Now they will play Malaysia with the winner finishing at Position 9.
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