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Indian men draw a blank at asian meet



Busan, July 6: The Indian men’s challenge in the singles event ongoing at the Asian Table Tennis Championships at the Sajik Gymnasium here came to an end today with all four paddlers in fray, including Achanta Sharath Kamal, biting the dust.


The only highpoint of Indian participation was the way left-handed Sanil Shetty, ranked 311, fought his way in the third round against 28th ranked Matsudaira Kenta before being subdued by the Japanese 4-2 (11-3, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5).


The 23-year-old Shetty, after trailing 0-3, surprised his Japanese opponent with an excellent attacking game to upset his rhythm. Shetty was equally good on his backhand and his forehand scorchers brooked little challenge from the Japanese in the fourth and fifth games. But Kenta made amends for his lapse of concentration in the earlier two games and finished the sixth game without giving much leeway to the Indian.


Earlier, Sharath Kamal lost to a higher ranked Chinese opponent Zhou Yu in straight games. The 44th ranked Chinese took a while before coming to grips to beat Sharath Kamal 12-10, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4. Another Chinese and world No. 1 Xu Xin accounted for Harmeet Desai as the Indian lost 5-11, 9-11, 10-12, 1-11. Except in the third game where the Indian had some measure of his opponent, there was little chance for Desai. Hong Kong’s Jiang Tiani then defeated Anthony Amalraj 4-1 (14-12, 11-4, 8-11, 11-6, 13-11) to culminate the Indian participation at the meet.