Commonwealth Games: Indian paddlers start campaign on winning note

Glasgow: Indian men and women`s table tennis team made an impressive start at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, posting two convincing wins each on the opening day of competitions here on Thursday.

The third seeded Indian men`s team started its campaign with a 3-0 win over Vanuatu, before registering a similar verdict over Northern Ireland in the preliminary round contests at Scotstoun Sports Campus.

The women`s team, surprise silver medallists in Delhi four years ago, blanked Barbados 3-0 courtesy a clinical performance by Shamini Kumaresan, Manika Batra and Madhurika Patkar. The women then saw off Nigeria 3-1.

Against Northern Ireland, Harmeet Desai and Soumyajit Ghosh beat Peter Graham and Ashley Robinson 3-0 (11-2 11-5 11-6). Ghosh defeated Ashley Robinson 3-2 (12-14 10-12 11-5 11-5 11-9) in singles while A Sharath Kamal blanked Paul McCreery 3-0 (11-9 12-10 11-8) to complete the rout.

The women, too, were very competitive and hardly broke a sweat on their way to an easy win over Nigeria.

Manika Batra beat Cecilia Akpan 3-0 (11-5 11-3 12-10) while Madhurika Patkar and Shamini Kumaresan defeated Cecilia Akpan and Offiong Edem 3-0 (11-9 11-7 11-6) in the doubles match. Batra lost 1-3 to Olufunke Oshonaike (9-11 9-11 12-10 6-11) before Shamini Kumaresan completed the formality with a 3-1 (8-11 11-9 11-6 11-5) win over Offiong Edem.

Earlier in the day, Shamini got the better of Sherric Felix 11-3 11-2 11-3 in the opening singles before Manika made it 2-0 beating Anthonette Riley 11-2, 11-5, 11-2.

Shamini then teamed up with Madhurika for the doubles rubber, taking place for the first time at the Games.

They completed the team`s first win of the competition getting past Krystle Harvey and Riley 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-3. The women face Kenya later today.

India`s top player Kamal was rested for men`s team opener against Vanuatu.

Harmeet Desai won the first singles against Ham Lulu 11-2, 11-3, 11-5. Southpaw Sanil Shetty then defeated Yoshua Shing 11-6, 11-2, 7-11, 11-1.

Shetty and Anthony Amalraj paired up for the doubles to give India a 3-0 win. They beat Alan Lin and Shing 11-6, 11-5, 11-4.

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