Soumyajit Ghosh and Sanil Shetty, both former National champions, needed the go the distance to prove their superiority against overseas challengers after young Archana Kamath gave more evidence of her growing prowess in the qualifying phase of the $150,000 ITTF World Tour India Open table tennis tournament here.
Ghosh, the qualification league Group 2 favourite, ran into a determined Ali Alkhadrawi and trailed 1-3 in the best-of-seven-game encounter. But credit to the India No. 2 for getting his act together when it mattered.
He eventually came out unscathed with a 6-11, 9-11, 11-6, 12-14, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 triumph. In the last three games, Ghosh raised the bar and reached the finish line without being threatened.
Having beaten Jeet Chandra earlier, Ghosh topped the three-player group and ensured his place in the main draw.
Shetty also took a similar, circuitous route to the main draw. After scoring over young Ronit Bhanja in the three-player Group 3, the left-hander fought back from the brink of defeat against Czech Republic’s Lubomir Jancarik 12-14, 12-10, 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 121-10, 16-14 in the match of the day.
G. Sathiyan also won two matches to move into the main draw while Harmeet Desai was one victory away from making the grade. A. Amalraj, who lost to Frenchman Quentin Robinot 3-4 after leading 3-2, will have to win the single-round knock-out round involving the runner-up of each of the 10 groups to qualify.
Among the women, Sutirtha Mukherjee upstaged newly-crowned National champion Madhurika Patkar. With all 12 Indians assured of making the main draw, the only point of interest in the qualifying phase is the result of the individual encounters.
Young Archana was the star of the day when she moved into the quarterfinals of the under-21 section by beating Moumita Dutta 3-0 and then returned to open her campaign in the women’s qualifying rounds.
The Karnataka youngster stunned Mosumi Paul, one among the leading performers of the season 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8, and went on to top Group 2 by easily stopping C. Harsha Vardhini 11-4, 11-8, 11-3, 11-4.
Sutirtha, who lost to Archana in the National championship earlier this month, had her moment when she punished an inconsistent Madhurika 11-9, 13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4.
Priyanka Pareek was the other youngster to impress. She defeated Priyadarshini Das in six games and then emphatically despatched Moumita Dutta 11-4, 11-1, 11-9, 11-5 to top Group 4.
The group-toppers in Group 1 and 3 will be decided on Wednesday.
- Premier League: Newcastle hungry for goals and success, says Howe after 8-0 win
- Shooting, Asian Games 2023 LIVE Score Updates: Vijayveer Sidhu in last place after 2 rounds in rapid fire pistol final; India wins three medals today - Hangzhou 2022 updates
- Asian Games 2023, September 25 LIVE updates: Vijayveer in 25m men’s rapid fire pistol final; India vs Sri Lanka women’s cricket final score
- Tottenham leaving Spursy tag behind, says Maddison
- Asian Games 2023: India wins bronze medal in 25m rapid fire pistol team event