Wuxi (China), April 11 (IANS) India squandered a raft of chances against Japan to lose 2-3 and bowed out in the quarterfinals of the Asian TT Championships here on Tuesday.
After Soumyajit Ghosh had given his team a perfect start with a win over Yuya Oshima (7-11, 11-7, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6), Achanta Sharath Kamal held a total of three match points in the fourth game against Koki Niwa before losing (11-1, 6-11, 8-11, 14-12, 12-10).
The agony continued as Harmeet Desai, despite leading 2-1 and 10-all in the fourth game against Kenta Matsudaira, went down in a five-game defeat (5-11, 8-11, 11-2, 14-12, 11-6).
But Sharath returning with vengeance beat Yuya Oshima (11-8, 11-13, 11-5, 6-11, 11-6) to set an intriguing battle between Ghosh and Koki Niwa to settle the issue.
Ghosh began well but eventually lost as the verdict went in favour of Koki Niwa who won 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4, to be the hero of the hour.
India, who subsequently, lost the 5-6 positions match against Hong Kong 0-3 will now play for the 7-8 positions on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Indians had something to gain from the team championships, having beaten DPR Korea 3-2 in the first division final and for the first time ever.
This came as a consolation for the Indians who had surpassed their expectations earlier, taking the Japanese to the brink.
But it was not all that easy against the North Koreans, though both Soumyajit and Harmeet had given another perfect start, beating Choe 11-6, 11-9, 12-10 and Pak Sin Hyok 11-5, 11-13, 11-8, 6-11, 11-5 in a tough second rubber.
But what followed was rather surprising as G. Sathiyan was blanked out by Kang Wi Hun who won 11-7, 11-9, 11-9 and Ghosh lost his reverse singles to Pak Sin Hyok 10-12, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8 to leave the fate of India in the hands of Harmeet.
The man from Surat did not disappoint as he defeated Choe in straight games of 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 to make some amends for his folly against the Japanese.