Asian TT C'ships: India beats Singapore to remain in champions division

India ensured that it will finish in the top six of the tournament with a 3-0 win over Singapore on Tuesday. India will thus gain direct entry in the next championships in 2021.

G. Sathiyan beat Poh Shao Feng Ethan in straight games (11-5, 11-5, 13-11).   -  S. Siva Saravanan

The Indian men’s team beat Singapore 3-0 in the 5-8 classification match in the ITTF Asian Table Tennis Championships to remain in the champions division of the continental event here on Tuesday.

India lost to Japan 1-3 in the quarterfinal on Monday but ensured that it will finish in the top six of the tournament with the win over Singapore on Tuesday. India will thus gain direct entry in the next championships in 2021.

India will play Hong Kong on Wednesday in the match for fifth position. “This is an achievement in itself,” said Sharath Kamal, who played an important role in India’s 3-0 win over Singapore.

Sathiyan beat Poh Shao Feng Ethan in straight games (11-5, 11-5, 13-11). But Sharath needed to dig deep into his vast experience to beat Pang Yew En Koen 7-11, 13-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-3 and put India 2-0 ahead.

Anthony Amalraj was the third choice player and it proved a right option for India as the former national champion defeated Chua Josh Shao Han 7-1, 11-7, 15-13, 11-9 to seal the tie.

In the quarterfinal match against fourth seed Japan on Monday night, India could not have asked for a better start with Sathiyan beating Harimoto 11-4, 11-7, 12-10 to give the lead.

But Sharath lost to Maharu Yoshimura 8-11, 12-10, 5-11, 12-14, and Harmeet Desai met with the same fate against Takuya Jin 7-11, 11-6, 6-11, 2-11.

In the reverse singles, a visibly exhausted Sharath was down 3-7 in the opening game and then conceded the tie 7-11, 0-11, 0-11, as Japan won 3-1 to enter the semifinals.

On Monday also, the Indian women’s team finished ninth after beating Malaysia 3-0.