Indians still have a long way to go

THAT the Indian paddlers still have a long way to go before catching up with the best was once again evident during the recent 47th Liebherr-World table tennis championships held in Bercy, Paris.

India, at the week-long event, was represented by a seven-member squad and the best that its players could achieve was the placings that Chetan Baboor, Achanta Sarath Kamal, Mouma Das and Mantu Ghosh found in the main draw of the men's and women's singles.

However, all the four failed to progress beyond the first round with Chetan being beaten by Japan's Toshio Tasaki (11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8) and Kamal downed by France's Christophe Legout (2-11, 11-6, 11-6, 15-13, 11-6) in the men's singles and Mouma and Mantu bowing out to Hungary's Georgina Pota (12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 14-12, 11-8) and Malaysia's Yao Lin Jin (12-10, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5) respectivley in the women's singles.

Further, the combine of Mouma and Mantu, figuring in the women's doubles main draw, could only stretch their rivals, Xueling Zhang and Paey Fern Tan (Singapore) before making their exit at 8-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-2, 8-11, 11-7.

The other players who made up the Indian squad in Bercy, besides the foursome who were successful in making the main draw, were Sourav Chakravorty, Pradeepa Thiruvengadam and Mamta Prabhu.