World Team TT C'ships: India loses to Austria, misses the bus to RO16

Indian men frittered away a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 to Austria in the World team table tennis championship in Halmstad on Wednesday.

File image of India's Sathiyan Ganansekaran   -  AFP


Indian men frittered away a 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 to Austria in the World team table tennis championship here on Wednesday. With the defeat, their chances of making it to knock-out (round of 16) are as good as over. Now, they have to play for positions 13 to 24.

The manner in which Sharath Kamal and G. Sathiyan went about their business, it looked like India would have it easy. Sharath was confidence-personified in his destruction of Stefan Fegerl in the first rubber. Then, Sathiyan overcame Robert Gardos to give India a handy 2-0 advantage.

Though Harmeet Desai went down fighting to Daniel Habesohn, it was believed that Sharath would put it across Gardos in the fourth rubber and the Tie, given the form he has been in the championship.

But the veteran Indian star was completely off-colour. His movements were lethargic, his shot-selection suspect and his trademark top-spin drives on both flanks came a cropper to lose in three straight games.

Sathiyan did all he could against Fegerl in the fifth and deciding match, as the Austrian attacked relentlessly to emerge triumphant.

Korea Republic, Croatia and Austria have qualified from Group-D to the round of 16.
 

The result

Group D: India bt Austria 3-2 (Sharath Kamal bt Stefan Fegerl 11-7, 19-17, 11-8; G. Sathiyan bt Robert Gardos 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 15-13; Harmeet Desai lost to Daniel Habesohn 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-7, 6-11; Sharath lost to Gardos 2-11, 8-11, 9-11; Sathiyan lost to Fegerl 11-13, 11-9, 7-11, 9-11).