India’s men paddlers had a perfect to start to their campaign in the World Table Tennis Team Championships as they blanked out Vietnam 3-0 in the first round of the Second Division on Sunday.
Clubbed in group F, they took on the Vietnamese first this morning and thumped their rivals in quick time. Opening the attack for India, Sharath Kamal defeated Anh Tu Nguyen 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6. The Indian had a fine start but after leading 2-0, he dropped a game when Anh came back nicely. However, the experienced ace Indian shut out the challenge by winning the next game.
For Anthony Amalraj, who took on Tien Dat Le in the next rubber, it was rather easy when he quickly disposed of his opponent 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 and after that Harmeet Desai downe Ba Tuan Anh Doan 11-5, 13-11, 2-10 in a tough contest. Despite the threat from Doan, the Indian had things under control.
Both Soumyajit Ghosh and G Sathiyan, the other members of the men’s squad, had a free day today.
Fortunately, the draw is relaxed with just one match per day as the Indians will take on Turkey tomorrow afternoon. After that, they will play Nigeria, Switzerland and Slovak Republic, in that order, on the following days.
There are 24 teams in the Second Division divided into four groups of six teams each. All these teams will play each other in round-robin with the top teams qualifying for the second stage of the draw.
India’s women’s team forms Manika Batra, Mouma Das, K Shamini, Pooja Sahasrabudde and Madhurika Patkar–a part of group G where they have Croatia, Nigeria, Columbia, Puerto Rico and Portugal for company.
In their first outing later today, they take on Columbia, in the first round of Stage 1 in the Second Division.