India’s Achanta Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan won a bronze medal each at the prestigious 2017 Challenge Belgium Open Table Tennis tournament in De Haan.
They lost their semifinals to the second-seeded German of Patrick Franziska and Ricardo Walther respectively by identical 2-3 margin to settle for a bronze on Friday.
Kamal and Sathiyan lost the first game 7-11 but came back strongly, to win the next two games 11-7 11-5. They, however, couldn’t sustain the momentum and lost the next two games 5-11, 5-11 to miss an opportunity to make the final.
They first beat the Belgian team of Thibaut Darcis and Lauric Jean 3-0 (11-7, 11-6, 11-7) and then got the better of Sweden’s Harald Andersson and Simon Arvidsson 11-8, 11-8, 11-6. India’s Sanil Shetty too had a good run in the tournament, beating higher ranked players and going all the way to the quarterfinals.
He beat seventh-seeded Cedric Nuytinck of Belgium 4-3 (11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5, 2-11, 5-11, 11-9) and ninth-seeded Cheng-Ting Liao of Taipei 4-0 (8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7).
Both Cedric and Cheng-Ting are many higher-ranked players too, World No. 70 and 72 to Shetty’s own 180.
He fell to Germany’s Ricardo Walther and missed out on a well-deserved medal. He lost 1-4 (7-11, 3-11, 11-5, 7-11, 6-11). Indian duo of Manika Batra and Mouma Das too did well to make the quarters.
They overcame the Taipei pair of Yu-Wen Huang and Yu-Jhun Li 3-2 (11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-4) but went down to another Taipei pair, Hsien-Tzu Cheng and Hsing-Yin Liu 1-3 (6-11, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12) in a closely fought encounter.