Paddler Ankita loses in Asian pre-quarters
Busan: The Indian challenge in women’s singles came to an end at the Asian Table Tennis Championships with Olympian Ankita Das joining the ranks of defeated compatriots K. Shamini and Mouma Das at the Sajik Gymnasium here Friday.
Ankita, who gave a great push to Indian table tennis hopes by conquering 20th-ranked South Korean Yang Haeun in the third round Friday morning, faltered in the pre-quarterfinals as she went down to China’s Chen Meng, World No.8, 6-11, 1-11, 5-11, 8-11.
The Siliguri girl was still regrouping herself from the exhaustive 4-3 (11-7, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4) victory over the South Korean but had to face the Chinese soon after, taking a toll on the 20-year-old, who did not have an answer for Chen Meng.
Ankita faltered both on her back and forehands and failed to overcome a heavy top spin game of Meng.
“I was feeling tired and exhausted after the morning match. But the Chinese was too good. I could not employ my backhands well and she (Meng) executed excellent forehand shots,” said Ankita.
As for the other paddlers, Shamini’s result was foregone as she lost to World No.1 Ding Ning of China. The 261st-ranked Indian lost 0-4 while seasoned Mouma too looked tired after her marathon win Thursday against Singapore’s Issabelle. Mouma was accounted for by Japan’s Kasumi Ishikawa, ranked ninth, 11-4, 8-11, 11-2, 11-7, 11-7 in the Round of 32.
In the men’s doubles, Indian pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sanil Shetty frittered away a good start against Hong Kong’s Cheung Yuk and Leung Cun Yan in the pre-quarterfinal stage. The Indian duo lost 4-11, 11-6, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11.
The men’s singles events will see Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty and Anthony Amalraj in action Saturday.