Archana Girish Kamath created history on Wednesday, becoming the first Indian ever to enter the semifinals of the Youth Olympic Games in table tennis.
18-year-old Archana defeated Azerbaijan’s Jing Ning 4-3 in the Buenos Aires Games and will take on China’s Yingsha Sun (second seed) on Wednesday evening for a place in the finals.
In the quarters, the Indian got off to a flying start with a 13-11 win in a tight game. However, Jing bounced back to win the next two games (11-8, 11-6) and grab the advantage.
Archana, however, wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass. Attacking with confidence, she crushed her opponent 11-3 in the next game to restore parity.
Ning, who is ranked higher than the Indian, got her wits back to go ahead in the tie once again winning the fifth game.
With just a win away from securing a berth in the semifinals, Ning toiled hard but Archana held her nerves and took the game to the decider with a narrow 12-10 win.
Buoyed by the win and the 3-3 scoreline, Archana saved the best for the last and easily won the last game 11-7.
“It was a very tough match and she fought till the very end, so I’m very happy that I could win. I’m really excited for the semifinals,” Archana told ITTF after her unprecedented win.
A win in the semi-final will guarantee a medal for Archana while a defeat would see her play the bronze medal playoff.
Earlier, Manav Thakkar couldn’t make his way Japanese prodigy Tomokazu Harimoto and lost 1-4 in the round of 16 to bow out of the tournament.