Chinese-born Austrian sends Sharath packing in second round

August 20th, 2008 - 1:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) An off-colour Achanta Sharath Kamal was full of errors as he went down 1-4 to a much higher ranked Chen Wiexing, a Chinese-born Austrian, in the second round of the men’s singles table tennis competition Wednesday.Sharath, who has never beaten Wiexing and lost to him the last time they played in 2006, was never really on top of his game. Chen won 11-5, 14-12, 11-2, 8-11, 12-10 in 32 minutes to bring down the curtain on Indian table tennis participation at the mega event.

“I could do nothing against him,” a dejected Sharath said. “My forehand is my strength but that was not working well. Besides, I erred on crucial points and had no chance.”

Sharath’s best opportunity came in the second game, when he led 9-7 after losing the first rather tamely at 5-11. Sharath was unable to close the second game, despite holding a game point at 12-11, but a rather weak serve saw Wiexing hit a stinging forehand to level once again. The Austrian finally won 14-12.

In the third game, Sharath lapsed into a series of errors and Chen raced to a 9-1 lead and pocketed it.

Sharath did make a big effort in the fourth as he won a couple of crucial points in the middle to move to 7-5 and took the game.

Chen, though, put his killer forehand to good use and had the Indian on the ropes with a 5-1 lead in the fifth game dashing Sharath’s hopes of a comeback.

“After I lost the third game I was disturbed and I needed to calm down and pull myself together, but I really don’t know what happened. I just could not execute my plans. Nothing really worked against him. I was erratic in the beginning and faltered in the second game when I needed to hold my nerve. In the fourth, I tried to crawl back into the match but fluffed things trying to play on to his body,” said the Commonwealth Games double gold medallist.

Sharath will now return to Spain to play in the European Club League, but as he said the goal is to improve the ranking and try and get into the top-50.

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