The Indian doubles pairs of G. Sathiyan-Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar lost in the men's doubles semifinals of the Asian table tennis championships in Doha on Monday.
Harmeet and Manav rallied from a two-game deficit but fell short as the Korean duo of Jong Woojin and Lim Jonghoon of Korea triumphed in five games 4-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 8-11 while Sharath-Sathiyan were outplayed by Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami of Japan 11-5, 11-9, 13-11.
Down and out after being outplayed in the first two games, Harmeet-Manav played like men possessed in the next two games, especially Manav who was quick on his feet and was strong on his backhand.
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The third and fourth games went the distance which India went on to win. The decider was evenly placed till 6-each. From there on, Jong and Lim increased the tempo and Lim unleashed some crucial backhand flicks that went answered. Uda and Togami were always on the attack-mode seldom giving Sharath-Sathiyan space and time to settle down.
The Indians did mount a fightback saving three game points from 6-10 in the second game and four game points from 7-10 & 10-11 in the third, but the Japanese proved to be a notch above the Indians at every stage of the contest.
India ended its campaign in the championships with three bronze medals. One in the men's team event and two in men's doubles. The Indian women's team finished fifth.