Sports

World TT C'hips 2024: India Men, Women Teams Secure Knock-Out Berths

While the Indian women's team pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Spain, the men's side brushed aside New Zealand 3-0 to progress to the knock-out phase of World Table Tennis Championships 2024

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India National Table Tennis Team in Busan for the World Table Tennis Championships 2024. (Photo: X|@UltTableTennis)
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The Indian men's and women's sides registered contrasting wins in their final group games to progress to the knock-out phase of the World Table Tennis Team Championships Busan on Tuesday. (More Table Tennis News)

While the Indian women's team pulled off a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Spain, the men's side brushed aside New Zealand 3-0.

The Indian women's team, the stronger side on paper, were pushed against the wall but found a way to scrape past the Spaniards after Sreeja Akula and Manika Batra lost the first two singles of the tie.

After Ayhika Mukherjee kept India in the contest with a win in the third singles, Manika and Sreeja returned to get the job done in the fourth and fifth singles.

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Sreeja lost the opening singles to Maria Xiao 9-11, 11-9, 11-13, 4-11. Sofia-Xuan Zhang made it 2-0 for Spain with a 13-11, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-7 win over India's top ranked player Manika.

Ayhika kept India alive in the contest by getting past Elvira Rad 11-8, 11-13, 11-8, 9-11, 11-4 in the third singles.

Manika then returned to blank Maria in the fourth singles 11-9, 11-2, 11-4 to make it 2-2. Sreeja sealed the tie with an 11-6, 11-13, 11-6, 11-3 win over Sofia-Xuan.

The Indian women finished second behind China in Group 1 with three wins from four games. Their only loss, albeit a narrow one, came against the mighty Chinese after Ayhika and Sreeja stunned world number one and two, Sun Yinghsa and Wang Yidi, respectively.

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In the men's competition, reigning national champion Harmeet Desai and G Sathiyan registered facile wins against Choi Timothy and Alfred Pena Dela respectively in the opening two singles.

While Harmeet won 11-5, 11-1, 11-6, Sathiyan defeated Dela 11-3, 11-7, 11-6.

Manush Shah then rallied from two games down to pull off a 10-12, 6-11, 11-4, 11-8, 11-6 win over Maxwell Henderson to help India finish third in Group 3 behind South Korea and Poland.

Out the 40 teams taking part in the competition, both the Indian men and women were among the 24 sides to qualify for the knock-out phase. A quarterfinal finish in the event will assure India of a place in the team event of Paris Olympics.

India will need to win their round of 32 and subsequent round of 16 rubbers to reach the last-eight round and qualify for the Olympics.

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