Tokyo, May 1 ANI | 6 months ago

Indian women, continuing with their good form, defeated Bulgaria 3-2 to top group G in second Division and enter Stage 2 of the World Table Tennis Championships here today.

The Indian men's team, who blanked out Paraguay 3-0, also qualified for the main draw as the second team from group F.

As the group leader, the Indian women gained a direct entry into the quarterfinals, while the men's team will have to play its pre-quarterfinals tomorrow against Egypt. The Indian women will have a rest day tomorrow and will play their quarterfinals on Saturday against the winner of the pre-quarterfinals between Brazil and Egypt.

It was not all that easy against Bulgaria who gave a tough fight to the women paddlers. Manika, who is in a very good form so far here, opened the proceedings against Anelia Karova with a fine 7-11, 11-4, 14-12, 11-8 triumph to put India ahead. But K. Shamini lost her singles, after a good fight, to Sibel Remzi 9-11, 5-11, 11-6, 13-11, 6-11.

Then Ankita Das put India in the lead once again with a win 11-6, 7-11, 14-12 11-9 over Ivanka Angelova. But Manika lost her reverse singles very badly losing to Sibel 11-8, 11-8, 11-8. Shamini returned the compliment with a straight 11-5, 11-9, 11-7 triumph over Karova to seal Bulgaria's fate.

Giving full credit to the team members, coach Bhawani Mukherjee said the girls had put up a very good fight against Bulgaria which was a tricky team.

"We have been trying various permutation and combinations and today Ankita played really well to keep India's momentum going after Manika's brilliant opening show. In fact, Manika should have won her reverse singles, but in the end Shamini played true to her ability to give India a direct quarterfinal berth," said Mukherjee.

On the other hand, Indian men's loss yesterday to Italy cost them a direct place in the quarterfinals. Nevertheless, they put that defeat behind them and was all concentration against Paraguay today. The South American team was no match to the Indian trio of Achanta Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj and Sanil Shetty.

Sharath beat Alejandro Toranzos 11-4, 11-8, 11-1, Amalraj downed Marcelo Aguirre 11-1, 11-6, 11-7 and Shetty defeated Axex Gavlan 11-3, 11-3, 13-11 to march ahead.

(Posted on 02-05-2014)

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