Asian Junior TT: India’s U-18 boys lose to China, settle for bronze

July 22nd, 2011 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) India’s Under-18 boys were left clueless by the sheer guile of the superior Chinese as they lost their semifinal to the top seeds 0-3 at the Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship at the Thyagaraj Stadium here Friday. The hosts, however, secured a bronze and a place in December’s World Junior Championships in Bahrain.

India’s Under-18 girls beat Hong Kong 3-1 to finish fifth in the tournament and qualified for their maiden appearance at the Worlds.

The Indian boys, who pulled off a thrilling win against the Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals, looked out of sorts against the superior Chinese team.

Harmeet Singh went down 7-11, 7-11, 6-11 to World No. 2 Lin Gaoyuan in the first singles. World No.24 Soumajit Ghosh offered brief resistance by winning the second game against world No.4 Wu Jiaji to tie the match at 1-1. But the Chinese quickly changed his tactics and added variations to his serve which the Indian failed to read. Wu eventually prevailed 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9.

The third singles between India’s G.Sathiyan, world No. 47, and Yin Hang was the best example of how the Chinese learn from their past experiences. The Tamil Nadu paddler had defeated Yin in the World Junior Championships last year but this time the World No. 18 had a “special serve” in his armoury to make the difference. Sathiyan failed to read Yin’s “special serve” and went down 6-11, 8-11, 6-11.

“They outclassed us with deceptive serves, quick feet movement and power play. Their legs are quick and they cover the entire table with ease,” admitted Harmeet.

“Another big difference is the power they generate while hitting the top spin. And if you look at our all three matches, we failed to understand their service more often than not,” he added.

Sathiyan said it was tough for him to read Yin’s “special serve”

“He kept on using the same serve repeatedly and I could not do much about it. He did not have this weapon last time we played,” said Sathiyan.

India had already been knocked out in the U-15 boys and girls competition. The cadet boys lost in the quarterfinals while the girls failed to advance to the last eight stage.

Other important results:

Junior girls (India beat Hong Kong in 5-6th play-off): Manika Batra beat Li Ching Wan 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9; Reeth Tennison beat NG Ka yee 11-4, 12-10, 1-11, 11-9; Mallika Bhandarkar lost to Lo Lok Yee 7-11, 8-11, 8-11; Manika Batra beat NG Ka Yee 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8.

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