The Indian men’s table tennis team got off to a good start at the ITTF World Team Championships Finals, after they beat Uzbekistan 3-0 in their group stage match at Chengdu, China on Saturday.
The women’s team fought valiantly but lost 2-3 to world No 5 ranked team Germany in their opening tie of the contest.
Harmeet Desai started proceedings – fresh from winning gold at the National Games. He came up with a 11-9, 11-9, 11-1 win over Elmurod Kholikov.
Sathiyan Gananasekaran then made it 2-0 to India after an 11-3, 11-6, 11-9 win over Abdulaziz Anorboev, before Manav Thakkar secured the tie with another straight-games 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 win, over Shokhrukh Iskandarov.
The men’s team will next take on world No 2 Germany on Sunday.
In the women’s match, world No 8 Ying Han came up with a 11-3, 11-1, 11-2 win over Manika Batra to put Germany in the lead. Sreeja Akula, who became national champion earlier this year and finished fourth in the women’s singles event of the Commonwealth Games, upset world No 14 Nina Mittelham with a solid 11-9, 12-10, 11-7 win to level the tie for India.
Youngster Diya Chitale then beat the experienced Sabine Winter 3-1 (11-9, 11-8, 6-11, 13-11).
Mittelham then returned to the table and…