New Delhi: Hosting its maiden international Sepaktakraw event, India began their campaign in the men`s section with a bang as they recorded a come-from-behind victory over higher-ranked Singapore on the opening day of the World Super Series here on Thursday.
The home side, ranked eighth in the world, defeated fifth-ranked Singapore 14-16, 11-15, 15-9, 17-16 and 15-7 for a total score of 72-63 at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium Complex.
After Philippines pulled out of the tournament due to visa issues, only India and Singapore remained in Group D and both have already qualified before today`s match which the home side won 3-2 in a 100-minute duel.
Two top countries from each of the four groups, involving three teams each, will qualify for the quarterfinals on the basis of total points accumulated.
India will play against Singapore again tomorrow to decide the group topper. This was necessitated as teams in other groups will be playing twice in the group stage.
However, the women`s team lost to Indonesia 0-3 in their opening Group A match. The Indians lost 10-15, 10-15, 8-15 in just 48 minutes.
The women`s section has been divided into two groups of four teams each and the two top countries from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals.
The second round in the men`s competition is a single elimination, eight-team play-off stage while the women`s is a four-team play-off stage.
Meanwhile, the tournament suffered another setback as Myanmar men`s team also pulled out of the tournament to become the third team to do so. Chinese women`s team and Philippines men`s team had also pulled out of the tournament.
"They (Myanmar) have pulled out in the last minute. The reason why they have pulled out has not reached me. I think Myanmar has not given the reason to ISTAF (international federation) till now," Sepaktakraw Federation of India Secretary Yogender Singh Dahiya told PTI.
Indian men`s team coach Hemraj said he was happy with the performance of his boys.
"We were beaten by Singapore in the 2011/12 Super Series and they are the higher-ranked side. But my boys played really well today and we beat them. The crowd support had been a factor and I thank the home fans," he said.
"We had prepared very well as the Sports Ministry has been kind to allow us have six months national camp before the event. I had arranged for video footages of earlier matches of Singapore team and we had analysed their players," he added.
Defending champions Thailand got the walkover against Myanmar and awarded a 3-0 (15-0, 15-0, 15-0) win in Group A. In other men`s matches, Malaysia thrashed United States 3-0 (15-9, 15-9, 15-4) in Group B, while Korea did the same against Brunei with a 3-0 (15-6, 15-10, 15-6) victory in Group C.
In other women`s matches, defending champions Thailand drubbed Japan 3-0 (15-3, 15-4, 15-10) in Group B while Indonesia beat Korea 3-0 (15-4, 15-11, 15-8) in Group A.