Asian Cup: Sathiyan seals Chengdu World Cup slot

G. Sathiyan defeated world no. 14 Chun Ting Wong of Hong Kong in positions 5-8 match at ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup at Yokohama on Saturday.

Sathiyan lost to a former World Cup, Olympic and World champion in Ma Long.   -  S. Siva Saravanan

G. Sathiyan placed himself well within reach of a slot at the Chengdu World Cup to be held in October as the top-ranked Indian defeated world no. 14 Chun Ting Wong of Hong Kong in positions 5-8 match 12-10, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8 at ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup at Yokohama on Saturday.

The win against Hong Kong’s no. 1 player means that the world no. 28 will take on Lin Yun-Ju of Chinese Taipei in a clash to grab fifth position tomorrow. 

The 17-year-old left-hander, who is seven places ahead of Sathiyan, recently won his first men singles title at the Challenge Plus Oman Open when he beat top-seeded Falck Mattias in the final. In the same tournament, Sathiyan had entered the semifinals.

But it was a tough ask for Sathiyan earlier as the Indian failed to go past the second-seeded Chinese Ma Long in the quarterfinals when he lost 1-4 (5-11, 5-11, 11-6, 6-11, 3-11). Yet he managed to take a game off the reigning world and Olympic champion.

In contrast, Sathiyan began passively against Wong before taking the first game on extended points. He lost the second after leading 9-5 but wrapped up the next three games to go up the ladder.

Speaking to Sportstar, Sathiyan said he played his best table tennis in Asian Cup, beating higher-ranked players in Taipei's Chih-Yuan Chuang and Wong.

"It is a great feeling to qualify for the World Cup that too on a World TT day," said Sathiyan. "Overall the tournament has been excellent. I am looking forward to finish it on a high note as I will play Lin and try to finish as No.5."