Sharath Kamal was the lone Indian standing tall, having reached the men's singles pre- quarterfinals at the Asian Table Tennis Championships at Wuxi (China) today. The top-ranked Indian in the world beat Ro Kwang Jin of DPR Korea 11-5, 11-7, 14-12 in the round of 32 to move ahead.
He will next meet Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang in the pre-quarterfinals. As for the other Indians in the fray, Soumyajit Ghosh, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty bowed out in the round of 32.
Ghosh lost to Koki Nawa of Japan 3-11, 4-11, 5-11, Desai went down 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 4-11 and Shetty lost in straight games of 10-12, 8-11, 6-11 to Korean Lee Sangshu. G Sathiyan could not do much against his second round opponent and he failed to go past him.
Since the singles draw had 128 players, it was a busy day for the Indians in both sections as they began their campaign as early as at 9 am, playing round after round with only top eight players getting first round byes. The Indians had easy passages in the first two rounds but the third round posed problems.
However, Sharath continued his good form and defeated the North Korean who, despite putting up a brave front in the third game in which he stretched the Indian, saved three match points after the third game saw several deuces.