Sharath Kamal close to sealing London berth
New Delhi: Achanta Sharath Kamal registered a comfortable win over Vietnam`s Quyinh Tran Tuan of Vietnam 11-1, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 in the third round Asian Olympic Qualification Table Tennis Tournament in Hong Kong Friday and is a couple of matches away from sealing a London berth.
India`s top paddler will take on North Korea`s Jang Song Man who earlier accounted for Amal Raj 4-2 in draw B. In the same draw Soumyajit Ghosh also lost to Kim Song Nam of North Korea 1-4, but the two Indians can still make the Olympics grade provided they win their next round matches.
Sharath, who is one match away from what could be a dream effort, to finish among the top four paddlers at the Qualifiers.
As a draw A loser, Sharath defeated Iran`s top player Nima Alamian 4-2 (11-7, 3-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-5, 11-8 to progress into draw B.
"Sharath brought his aggressive style to the fore and it paid dividends," said national coach Bhawani Mukherjee.
"If he continues in the same vein later tonight against Jang Song Man, he should book his London berth tomorrow," he added.
As for Amal Raj and Ghosh, Mukherjee said that all was not lost for the two Indians. As draw B losers they still have a chance tomorrow and could well be the surprise package.
"The two have put up very good fights against their top opponents and are well in course to surprise with at least one more berth," said Mukherjee.
Poulomi Ghatak after a fine show last evening and bowed out of the tournament while Ankita Das and K. Shamini kept their Olympics dreams alive.