India assured itself of a medal at 2021 ITTF-ATTU Asian Championships as Achanta Sharath Kamal-led men’s team reached the semi-finals of the competition with a 3-0 victory over Iran.
India, who were seeded fourth and started the event in the quarterfinal stage, went 1-0 up in the tie as Sharath Kamal got the better of Iran’s Nima Alamian beating him 11-9, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5 in four games.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran then doubled India’s lead with another four-game victory beating Noshad Alamiyan 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-6.
Harmeet Desai had the chance to clinch the five-match rubber but he was beaten in five games by Amir Hossein Hodaei. The Indian went down 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 14-12, 7-11.
However, Sharath Kamal returned to seal the Indian victory as he defeated Noshad Alamiyan in four games winning 11-8, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9.
Earlier in the day, the Indian women’s team of Sutirtha Mukherjee, Archana Kamath, Sreeja Akula, and Ayhika Mukherjee defeated Nepal and Jordan in their Group A matches by 3-0 margins to enter the knockout phase. They defeated Uzbekistan by a 3-0 margin in the battle of group winners.
They faced top seeds Japan later on Wednesday in a tough last eight fixture and went down 1-3 in a hard-fought tie. At one stage, it appeared that the tie will be forced into the decider buy Sree Akula went down in five games in the fourth tie.
Indian men’s team will play top seeds South Korea in the semifinal. The women’s team will face Chinese Taipei in their battle for the positions 5-8 in the event.