September 29, 2021 6:27:19 pm
Sleep deprived Indian women overcame Uzbekistan 3-0 in a group winners match to make it to the quarterfinals of the Asian Table Tennis Championships at Lusail Multipurpose Hall, Doha in Qatar on Wednesday.
The Indian women team are in the biennial meet without their top star Manika Batra. They now take on Japan at 9pm IST on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Indian men’s team led by veteran Sharath Kamal will play quarterfinals and take on Iran (at 7.30pm IST also on Wednesday).
A league match between Iran and Indonesia went to the wire and drew a lot of attention as well as time. India’s second and final group match against Nepal to decide Group 1 leaders also got delayed on the opening night on Tuesday. India had defeated Jordan in the first group match on Tuesday morning.
Archana Kamath won 11-2, 5-11, 4-11 while Tokyo Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee brushed aside Rozalina Khadjieva 11-6, 11-7, 11-3. Both took 18 minutes each to take out their opponents while Ayhika Mukherjee was tested by Sugdiyona Madalieva. The Uzbek was bent on taking the encounter to fourth when she won second and threatened to bag the third too. But the former national champion Ayhika subdued her young rival, winning the tie at 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 7-11 in 24 minutes.
Iranians won a thriller over famed rivals Indonesia 3-2 with 35-year old Neda Shahsavari, London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games veteran using her experience to beat Novida Widarahman in the opener 11-5, 19-17, 11-4 and winning the fourth contest against Dwi Oktaviani Sugiarto 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 to make it 2-all.
In the decider tie, Mahshid Ashtari managed to win the closely fought encounter against Novida 11-9, 11-9, 11-8. Indonesia’s Dwi Oktaviani Sugiarto and Siti Aminah posted wins over Mahshid 11-7, 6-11, 12-14, 11-8, 11-9 and Shima Safaei 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, respectively.
However, the marathon match drained the Iranians who lost the group winners match against Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Iran, India, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan topped their respective groups to enter the knock-out stage. However the finalists join the six seeds – South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Thailand in the quarterfinals. Korea and Hong Kong who finished seventh and eighth in the 2019 edition at Yogyakarta in Indonesia got the direct entry after defending champions China and North Korea pulled out.
Women’s Teams – Group Winners Match
Uzbekistan 0 lost to India 3 (Markhabo Magdieva lost to Archana Girish Kamath 2-11, 5-11, 4-11; Rozalina Khadjieva lost to Sutirtha Mukherjee 6-11, 7-11, 3-11; Sugdiyona Madalieva lost to Ayhika Mukherjee 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 7-11).
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