Star paddler Sharath Kamal expects India to provide a tough fight, and possibly even a memorable win
India men will be brimming with confidence when it takes on the Republic of Korea, the top seed, in the semifinals of the 25th-ITTF-ATTU Asian table tennis championships in Doha on Friday.
Korea will be the overwhelming favourite with Jang Woojin (world-ranked 12) and Lee Sangsu (22) spearheading the attack, but star paddler Sharath Kamal expects India to provide a tough fight, and possibly even a memorable win.
“Korea is a strong team. We lost to them in the semifinals of the 2018 Asian Games. But I have been in good form, and the team has been having good confidence especially after the win over Iran the other day. If we can win the semis, we will be the favourite to win the title,” Sharath told The Hindu.
First ever medal
Earlier on Wednesday night, the men had assured themselves of a bronze — the country’s first ever medal — with a 3-1 win over Iran.
Sharath said: “This medal is something I have been chasing for the last 20 years and finally I could get that. Really happy and proud with this achievement.”
Meanwhile, the women’s team defeated Chinese Taipei 3-1 for positions 5-8 on Thursday.
The results: Women (positions 5-8): India bt Chinese Taipei 3-1 (Archana Kamath bt Hsien-Tzu Cheng 11-4, 11-9, 10-12, 13-11; Sutirtha Mukherjee lost to Hsing-Yin Liu 11-4, 12-14, 5-11, 4-11; Sreeja Akula bt Yu-Jhun Li 11-4, 11-6, 7-11, 11-4; Sutirtha bt Hsien-Tzu Cheng 11-2, 11-4, 11-5).
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