Indian challenge ends, Chinese impress in Asian TT
Lucknow: Curtains were drawn on Indian challenge after all three doubles pairs lost their respective matches to crash out of the 19th Asian Table Tennis Championships here on Saturday.
The Indian combo of Olympian Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sourav Chakraborty squandered an early 1-0 lead before going down to Jiang Tianyi and Tang Peng of Hong Kong 3-1 in men’s doubles pre-quarterfinal.
Despite a spirited start with 11-7 win in the first game, the Indian pair couldn’t stop the Hong Kong duo from coming back into the match as they bagged three consecutive games (11-5, 11-6, 11-6) to wrap up the issue.
Soumyadeep Roy and Jubin Kumar fell to Chinese duo of Wang Liqin and Zhang Jike 0-3 after losing the encounter 6-11, 3-11, 6-11.
India’s number one women pair of Poulomi Ghatak and Mouma Das also lost 1-3 to Jiang Huajun and T Ya Na of Hong Kong.
After losing the first two games (7-11, 9-11), the experienced Indian pair tried to claw their way back into the match and bagged the third one 11-7. But their comeback bid was foiled as Poulomi-Mouma lost the next game 3-11.
Meanwhile, Chinese pair of Ma Long and Li Xiaoxia defeated Zhang Jike and Ding Ning 4-2 in an all-Chinese affair to bag the mixed doubles title in the prestigious event.
Long-Xiaoxia (4-2) beat compatriots Xu Xin and Liu Shiwen, while Jike-Ning (4-2) overcame Japanese pair of Kishikawa Seiya and Ai Fukuhara in mixed doubles semifinal this morning.
Chinese have already defended both the men’s and women’s team events in the week-long tournament.
Meanwhile, World number two Long was among four Chinese who stormed into the mens singles semifinal, making Sunday’s final four stage an all-Chinese affairs.
Long got the better of Japanese Matsudaira Kenta 4-0 to set up a clash with Xu Xin, who beat world number 11 Mizutani Jun of Japan 4-1 in a long-drawn match.
On the other hand, Zhang Jike (4-1) overcame Hong Kong’s Cheung Yuk and now plays world number five Wang Liqin, who eliminated Korean Jan Song Man 4-1.
Chinese women also reserved all the sigles semifinal berths to their names.
World number four Xiaoxia, after blanking Jiang Huajun 4-0, now takes on Fan Ying (4-3), who quelled tough challenge from compatriot Wu Yang in quarterfinal.
World number nine Ding Ning, who beat Korean Kim Kyung Ah 4-3, would now locks horns with number three Liu Shiwen. Shiwen made a facile 4-1 win over Singaporean Wang Yue Gu.
In women’s doubles, Chinese combo of Ding Ning and Li Xiaoxia thrashed Korean duo of Dang Ye Seo and Park Young Sook 4-0 to set a summit clash with another Korean pair of Kim Kyung Ah and Park Mi Young.
The Koreans overcame Feng Tianwei and Wang Yue Gu of Singapore in the other semifinal of the Asian Table Tennis Championships.
Meanwhile, Chinese pair of Wang Liqin and Zhang Jike entered final of men’s doubles category by blanking Li Ching and Cheung Yuk 4-0.
They now take on Ma Long and Xu Xin, who outplayed Kenta Matsudaira and Niwa Koki of Japan 4-0, in an all-Chinese encounter on Sunday.