London: Soumyajit Ghosh kept India`s table tennis challenge alive as he moved into the second round of the main draw while an error-prone Ankita Das made a first round exit in the women`s single event of the 2012 London Olympics at the ExCel centre here Saturday
The 19-year-old Ghosh, playing in his first Olympics, beat Brazilian Gustavo Tsuboi 4-2 (11-9, 14-12, 7-11, 12-10, 5-11, 12-10) in a keen contest that lasted nearly 40 minutes.
Ghosh showed his attacking prowess and began in style by winning the first two games. But Tsuboi came back strongly to take the third game at 11-7 when Ghosh gave away some easy points.
The Indian, however, managed to win the fourth extended game at 12-10 only to lose the fifth game as the Brazilian ran up a 4-0 lead.
From there the game was going one way as Ghosh was struggling to put the ball back across. This helped only his opponent`s cause as Ghosh was at least two points behind the Brazilian all the time until the latter went from strength to strength from there to shut Ghosh out.
Ghosh, unwilling to give in, put his best foot forward in the sixth game and led narrowly at 6-4 after the Brazilian had levelled at 3-3. The lead kept changing hands with both the paddlers attacking with beautiful returns and good topspin smashes.
They were level at 7-7 and for the first time Gustavo went up at 8-7 before Ghosh restored parity at 9-all. Though the Brazilian went 10-9 up, Ghosh made it 10-all and then clinically finished him with two straight points to seal the match.
Ghosh was happy about his second round entry but said that he shouldn`t have allowed his opponent any room in the third game which allowed him a semblance of comeback.
"I should have pushed him hard, but he was good. My shots and serves worked well today. I am happy I have progressed well," said Ghosh, who will take on Matiss Burgis of Latvia in round two.
Earlier, Ankita Das made a mess of her match against Spain`s Sara Ramirez to exit in the first round. The Indian teenager made far too many mistakes against the Spaniard and yet managed to win a game off her in a match that lasted 30 minutes in the round of 128.
The Siliguri girl lost 9-11 8-11 7-11 11-8, 2-11. Ankita had earlier received a bye in the preliminary round.