Junior TT: India wins two bronze

New Delhi: India finished with two bronze medals in the Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship after Abhishek Yadav lost to China`s Zhou Kai in the semifinals of the Under-15 boys on Sunday.

China won three of the four titles in the individual event while Japanese Maharu Yoshimura won the Under-18 boys event.

Abhishek, who stunned top seed Lim Jonghoon of South Korea in the quarterfinal Saturday, went down 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 4-11, 10-12 against the third seed Zhou, who eventually finished the runner-up.

Abhishek managed to pick up the third game but the Chinese never allowed the Indian to play his natural game, a strategy applied by most players of the world`s strongest table tennis nation.

The 15-year-old from Kanpur said he never expected to be in the last four and would want to compete in more international events.

"I thought I will try to beat a seeded player but getting into the semifinals was something I never thought about. I hope to play more often in tournaments like these," Abhishek told IANS.

On the match, Abhishek added: "He (Zhou) played a lot better than the Korean. I was able to attack initially but then he did not give me the space to do that."

India`s U-18 boys had to contend with a bronze after losing in the semifinals of the team event.

Such was the domination of China in the competition that three of the four semifinalists in all the four events were Chinese.

Later in the day, the sparse crowd gathered at the Thyagaraj Stadium witnessed some scintillating display in the U-18 boys final.

World No. 11 Yoshimura was up against No. 18 Yin Hang of China and the two got involved in long rallies on numerous occasions, making it good viewing for the spectators.

Yin, who had beaten compatriot and top-seed Lin Gaoyuan in the last four, kept on coming backing in the match but in the end Yoshimura emerged triumphant. If back hand top spin was the strong point of Yin, the Japanese made the difference with his lethal forehand drives.

Yoshimura also won more rally points and ultimately closed out the match with a long deceptive serve that missed his opponent`s bat. He won 13-15, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8, 11-13, 14-12.

Zhu Yuling of China beat fellow player Zhao Yan 7-11, 11-6,11-8, 9-11, 11-3, 11-9 in the U-18 girls final.