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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

World Table Tennis Team Championships: Paddlers falter but keep Paris Games hopes alive

The Manika Batra-led women’s team lost 1-3 to Taiwan in the Round of 16 while the men were blown away by South Korea for the second time in the competition, losing 0-3

PTI Busan (South Korea) Published 22.02.24, 07:44 AM
Harmeet Desai

Harmeet Desai File image

India men and women came up short in the pre-quarter finals of the World Table Tennis Team Championships here on Wednesday but their performance, in all likelihood, will be enough to send them to the Paris Olympics.

The Manika Batra-led women’s team lost 1-3 to Taiwan in the Round of 16 while the men were blown away by South Korea for the second time in the competition, losing 0-3.

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The event offered Olympic quotas to the quarter finalists but the men and women from India are likely to make the cut through their world rankings.

The final announcement will be made on March 5 after including the points from the World Championships. The women’s team is currently ranked 17th and the men 15th.

In the women’s pre-quarter final, Manika put India ahead with a tense 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-9 win over Taiwan’s Chen Szu-Yu.

Sreeja Akula was blanked by world No. 10 Cheng I-Ching 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 in the second singles before Ayhika Mukherjee failed to match the power of Li Yu-Jhun, losing 10-12, 13-15, 11-9, 2-11.

In her second singles, the 36th ranked Manika tried her best against Cheng but lost 10-12, 11-5, 9-11, 5-11.

India men could not do much against the might of Koreans. Harmeet Desai and Sharath Kamal managed to take a game off Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon respectively before G Sathiyan was blanked by Lee Sang Su.

Earlier on Wednesday, Harmeet Desai won the decisive fifth rubber against Kazakhsthan to steer the men to the pre-quarter finals with a 3-2 win.

The women’s side had strolled into the last-16 stage with an easy 3-0 victory over Italy.

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