The Indian men’s team defied huge odds to script one of the biggest upsets of the World team table tennis championships in China on Sunday in Group 2, edging out second Germany 3-1. This is India’s second straight win in the Group. It will next take on Kazakhstan on October 3.
G. Sathiyan, India’s top-ranked paddler at world No.37, was the star of the contest as he won both his matches.
Sathiyan put it across World No. 36 Benedikt Duda after being down by two games in the first rubber. And again, in the fourth rubber against World No.9 Dang Qiu, the Indian fought back from being down by two games to finish the tie in five games.
Though Harmeet Desai lost the second tie to Dang in four games, world No. 142 Manav Thakkar played outstandingly to beat world No. 74 Ricardo Walther 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10 in the third rubber.
The fourth match between Sathiyan and Dang was a cliff-hanger. Trailing 3-6 in the decider, Sathiyan played a nerveless attacking game to etch one of his finest wins over a World top-10 ranked opponent.
“It was a fantastic win, beating Germany, the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist for the first time. The entire team was pumped up [before the match]. Full credit to Harmeet [Desai], Manav [Thakkar] and India’s head coach Raman sir. It is great to have the momentum after the Birmingham Commonwealth Games men’s team gold. We are fighting as one team. That was the key,” said Sathiyan to Sportstar after the victory.
India women win
Meanwhile, the Indian women’s team defeated the Czech Republic 3-0 to post its first win in Group 5 after the tough loss to Germany in its first match. India women will next play Egypt on October 3.
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