Achanta Sharath Kamal books quarterfinal berth in Asian Cup TT
Jaipur, March 13: India's ace paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal got past two of his formidable opponents on Friday to enter the quarterfinals of the 28th Asian Cup Table Tennis.
Kamal struck a good form to first outwit the world number eight, Chuang Chih-Yuan from Chinese Taipei, 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-3 and, a few hours later, accounted for world number 16 Joo Saehyuk from South Korea 11-3, 4-11, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11 in a thriller at the SMS Indoor Stadium.
The championships saw another major upset when world number 12 Koki Nawa of Japan outsmarted world number two and pre-tournament favourite Chinese Xu Xin 11-6, 2-11, 11-5, 12-10 in group A.
One of the biggest days in my career: Sharath Kamal
An elated Sharath Kamal summed it up in one sentence after the two matches: "It has to be one of the biggest days in my career!"
The 32-year-old Indian, however, lost his third match 6-11, 7-11, 4-11 to world number three Fan Zhendong to finish second behind the Chinese in group B.
As for other Indians, Soumyajit Ghosh and G Sathiyan failed against their higher-ranked opponents, losing to Tang Peng and Yang Zi, respectively, in three straight games and then losing the other matches too to bow out from their respective group without a solitary win.
In the women's encounters, Mouma Das managed a futile win against Iran's Neda Shahsavari 11-4, 11-8, 11-2 in group D to finish second behind group winner Nanthana Komwon, who qualified for the play-off knockout scheduled for Saturday.
Poulami Ghatak, who failed to win a match, finished last in her group.