Indians’ dream of a place in the final of the Asian TT Championship at the Lusail Sports Arena in Doha, Qatar, continued on Monday as they lost both the men’s doubles matches in contrasting style in the semi-finals.
Earlier, late on Sunday night, India’s flag bearer in the TT, A Sharath Kamal, who became the first Indian to make it to the quarter-finals of the men’s singles event, found it difficult to beat world No. 22 Sansoo Lee of South Korea. It was again a tale of failures and attempts for the world No. 33 Indian, who fought bravely for 25 minutes before losing 11-8, 11-8, 11-9.
In the men’s doubles semi-finals, Harmeet Desai and Manav Thakkar missed out on a historic spot in the final by just three points after thrashing world number 26 Woojin Jung and Jonghoon Lim of South Korea. The Indians were two sets down and grabbed the next two and were close to 6-8 in the final set before the top seeded game was turned in their favor 4-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 8-11 in 45 minutes.
In contrast, the world number 33 pair of Ji Sathiyan and Sharath lost 5-11, 9-11, 11-13 in 33 minutes to Japan’s No. 14 Yukiya Uda and Shunsuke Togami of Japan.
In doubles events, the semifinalists are assured of at least a bronze medal.
The Indian men’s team of Sharath, Sathiyan, Harmeet, Manav and Sanil Shetty advanced to the semi-finals on Friday to take home the first medal.
The Indian women’s team without its top player Manila Batra completed their engagement in the dressing room with all singles players after two rounds in the dressing room on Sunday as the doubles team of Sutirtha and Ayika Mukherjee advanced to the quarter-finals.
Defending champions are out because of China and North Korea COVID-19 Issues related to the pandemic and the Indian men’s team were directly booked into the quarter-finals on the basis of their sixth-place performance in the 2019 edition in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Indians beat Iran in the quarter-finals but the Koreans rocked the semi-finals despite a tough fight.
The young Indian women’s team was forced to play a qualification round and reached the quarter-final stage and was placed fifth.
There are reports of India winning three gold medals in the 1952 Singapore edition, winning singles, doubles and mixed doubles when the Asian meet was held under the former TT Federation of Asia.
In the 1976 Pyongyang (North Korea) edition and under the current arrangement of the Asian TT Union (ATTU), Manjit Dua and Vilas Menon won bronze in men’s doubles.
Men’s Singles Quarterfinals
22-Lee Sansu Core BT 33-A Sharath Kamal 11-8, 11-8, 11-9 in 25 minutes
men’s doubles semi-finals
45- Harmeet Desai/Manav Vikas Thakkar 26-Woojin Jung/lost to Jonghoon Lim of South Korea 4-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 8-11
33-G Sathiyan-A Sharath Kamal 14-Yukiya Uda-Shunsuke Togami lost to Japan 5-11, 9-11, 11-13