Led by G Sathiyan and Manav Thakkar, the Indian men’s team notched up a memorable victory against second seed Germany in the ITTF World Team Championships Finals in Chengdu, China, on Sunday.
Later in the day, Indian women also got on board after a close defeat against Germany earlier. Manika Batra and Co defeated Czech Republic 3-0 in the Group 5 match.
After getting the better of Uzbekistan 3-0 on Saturday, the Indian team defeated heavyweights Germany 3-1 with Sathiyan winning both his matches.
The 29-year-old, who is India’s top-ranked (37) table tennis player, fought back from 0-2 down in both his matches to beat Benedikt Duda 3-2 (11-13,4-11,11-8,11-4,11-9) and world No 9 Dang Qiu 3-2 (10-12,7-11,11-8,11-8,11-9).
“The match against Qiu was definitely much tougher. He is a top-10 player. It was a high quality match as well,” Sathiyan was quoted as saying by PTI.
India No 2 Harmeet Desai lost the second singles match to Qui 1-2 (7-11, 9-11, 13-11, 3-11) before Thakkar helped his team go 2-1 up with a 3-1 (13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 12-10) win against higher-ranked Ricardo Walther.
The Indian men next face Kazakhstan on Monday and France on Tuesday. The Indian women take on Egypt on Monday.
Here’s how the Group 5 (Indian women) and Group 2 (Indian men) standings are as of Sunday afternoon:
Earlier on Saturday, the Indian women’s team fought valiantly but lost 2-3 to world No 5 ranked team Germany in their opening tie of the contest.
The format of the contest is such that teams are placed in seven (men’s event) and six (women’s event) groups, with the top two teams automatically making it to the Round of 16. The remaining numbers in the knockouts are made up by the highest ranked third-placed teams.