G Sathiyan and Sanil Shetty entered the final of the men’s doubles event at the 2018 ITTF Challenge Thailand Open in Bangkok at the expense of Manav Thakkar and Harmeet Desai by winning an all-Indian semi-final on Saturday.
Manav and Harmeet won the bronze medal as a result.
The two Indian pairs won their respective quarter-final matches earlier on Saturday to secure the last-four encounter.
Sathiyan and Sanil defeated Muhamad Ashraf Haiqal/Chee Feng Leong from Malaysia 11-5, 11-8, 11-9. Manav and Harmeet overcame Thailand’s Yanapong Panagitgun /Supakron Pankhaoyoy 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9.
In the semi-final, it was a titanic tussle between the Indian pairs as the match went all the way. Sathiyan and Sanil started on the front foot winning the first game while the younger duo of Manav and Harmeet fought back in the second. The pairs won alternate games before Sathiyan and Sanil eventually triumphed 11-7, 5-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-3.
Earlier in the tournament, 18-year-old Manav impressed the most in the singles category as he was the sole Indian in the round of 16, despite having come through the qualification stages. Sathiyan and Harmeet, seeded 2nd and 4th respectively, lost in the round of 32 but Manav pulled off an upset win against Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei on Friday before losing to Frenchman Bastien Rembert on Saturday.
There was better news for the Indian paddlers in the doubles categories, as it turned out.
Sathiyan and Sanil will face Tobias Hippler and Kilian Ort from Germany in the final on Sunday for a shot at gold medal.