Indian junior girls go down fighting to Hong Kong
MUMBAI: India’s junior girls stretched Hong Kong as they went down 1-3 in the quarter-finals of the 20th Reliance Asian Junior Table Tennis Championship on Saturday.
World No. 1 and last edition’s individual runner-up Doo Hoi Kem lived up to her reputation with a straight-game win over India’s top junior Sagarika Mukherjee in the opener before a gallant Ayhika Mukherjee snatched the second singles to draw level at 1-1 at the NSCI’s Sardar Vallabhai Patel Indoor Stadium here.
Mukherjee overcame Minnie Wai Yam Soo in a thriller as she romped to a 11-8, 7-11, 12-10, 9-11, 12-10 win in a tight contest. Priyadarshini Das lost the third singles in straight games, before Doo Hoi Kem sealed Hong Kong’s win with another straight-game victory over Sagarika.
South Korea halted India in the cadet boys quarter-finals with a 3-0 win as world No. 3 An Jaehyum beat Akaash Nath and world No. 8 Kim Dae Woo prevailed over Friday’s hero Manav Thakkar. The Korean duo later combined to beat the Indian pair in the doubles.
The South Korean cadet girls also registered a similar 3-0 win over India in the quarter-finals.
Kim Youjin gave the Koreans the perfect start with an easy win over Pune’s Shruti Amrute before world No. 8 Kim Jiho beat Naina in straight games but not before enduring an early challenge from the Indian in an opening game that stretched well into extra points.
Youjin and Jiho later beat the Indian duo in the doubles.
Late on Friday evening, India’s cadet girls made it to the knockout stage after thrashing Jordan 3-0, while the junior boys, who failed to make it to the quarterfinals, beat Thailand 3-2 to feature in the 9-14 positional matches.
Meanwhile, Korea shocked defending champions China in the semi-finals to set up a cadet boys title clash with last edition’s runners-up Chinese Taipei.
Defending junior boys and girls champions China, however, lived up to their reputations and advanced to the finals, with the girls setting up a title clash with last edition’s runners-up Japan.