Indian paddlers sail into third round

India’s men and women teams advanced to the third round of the World Table Tennis Team Championships after notching up contrasting wins in the second round, here on Monday.

Achanta Sharath Kamal was in his best form when he took on Ibrahim Gunduz, winning the opening rubber 11-5, 11-5, 11-7.   -  PTI

India’s men and women teams advanced to the third round of the World Table Tennis Team Championships after notching up contrasting wins in the second round, here on Monday.

After winning its first Second Division against Vietnam on Sunday, the Indian men’s team ran into Turkey this morning and it was a quiet affair in the second round.

Achanta Sharath Kamal was in his best form when he took on Ibrahim Gunduz, winning the opening rubber 11-5, 11-5, 11-7. Soumyajit Ghosh, who was playing his first match, then beat Gencay Menge 11-8, 11-6, 11-7 in the second singles.

National champion Anthony Amalraj, after losing the first game, brushed aside his rustiness and overcame Abdullah Yigenler 11-3, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7.

The Indian men’s squad will take on Nigeria tomorrow in the third round.

As for the women’s team, except for Mouma Das who went down in the first singles, both K Shamini and Madhurika Patkar took control of the match to put India on road to recovery and emerge winners over Puerto Rica.

Mouma, surprisingly, disappointed when she opened it for India against Adriana Diaz. The top Puerto Rican, despite losing the first game, steadied herself before taking a firm grip over the diminutive Mouma.

Adirana was not only deceptive but also very quick as she finished off the second game, allowing just two points to Mouma. In the end, Adirana notched up a 5-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-9 win over Mouma to put her team in the lead.

However, Shamini, playing her role to perfection, neutralised its rival’s advantage to beat Melaine Dias 12-10, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5 and the Madhurika, playing her first match, easily downed Daniely Rios 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 to keep India’s hopes alive.

With Shamini slated to take on Adriana in her reverse singles, it was always going to be dicey. But the Indian, hitting a great form and tackling her opponent with her guile, outwitted their No. 1 player.

Shamini won 11-7, 13-11, 8-11, 11-8 to see India through to the third round where it will clash with Portugal tomorrow.