Hong Kong shows door to Sharath Kamal and Co in quarters

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New Delhi, Sep 18 (UNI) A coach-less Indian men paddlers team today failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the team event in the 18th Asian Table Tennis Championship played at Yangzhou, China, as they were blanked 0-3 by third seeds Hong Kong in the quarter-finals.

A higher ranked Hong Kong side surged ahead as Li Ching opened the proceeding with a straight games victory over India's Subhajit Saha.

Even, National Champion Achanta Sharath Kamal failed to open India's account as Ko Lai Chak handed out the same punishment to him, while young Anthony Amalraj was no match for Tang Peng and lost in straight games.

Earlier, India qualified for quarter-finals yesterday with an unbeaten track record in the group stages. They recorded easy victories against Bangladesh, Nepal, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and finished second in Group 'D' behind Chinese Taipei.

Before the start of the event, Indian paddlers' task became tougher as just hours before the contingent was to leave for China, men's team coach Kamlesh Mehta fell ill last Friday night and had to be hospitalised, which eventually compelled them to participate in the championship without a mentor.

Apart from Hong Kong, top seeds China and fouth seeds Chinese Taipei also booked their last four berths with impressive victories over Singapore and Indonesia, according to information received here.

In the women's team event, India finished a disappointing ninth position.

UNI

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