Rio de Janeiro: Indian table tennis quartet led by veteran Achanta Sharath Kamal ended its Rio Olympics campaign on the opening day itself as all four players lost their first round matches.
Save Mouma Das, who was blown away by 0-4 margin in just 21 minutes, Sharath and Soumyajit Ghosh got a game each from their respective opponents before going down 1-4. Debutant Manika Batra was the best performer as she lost by scoreline of 2-4. Interestingly, the cumulative duration of India’s Olympic TT journey was 139 minutes (2 hrs and 19 minutes).
India’s most decorated player Sharath lost to another veteran Crisan Adrian of Romania 11-8, 14-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8 in 35 minutes. Adrian was world No 20 at one point of time in his career and is currently a top-100 player (ranked 90th). It was no different in the other match in the men’s section for world No 68 Soumyajit Ghosh, who also made a first round exit, losing to Padasak Tanviriyavechakul by 1-4 margin in 35 minutes.
Left-handed Padasak, a medallist at the South East Asian Games, won 11-8, 11-6, 12-14, 11-6, 13-11 in a well-contested match that was more closely fought than the scoreline would suggest. In the women’s event, the 34-year-old world no 150 Mouma, who is well past her prime, posed a challenge that was lukewarm and short-lived.
The Indian veteran, in her second Olympics, lost to world No 58 Daniela Dodean Monteiro of Romania 2-11, 7-11, 7-11, 3-11 in mere 21 minutes. Debutant Manika, on the other hand, put up a good fight before going down to her 60th-ranked Polish rival Katarzyna Franc-Grzybowska 12-10, 6-11, 12-14, 11-8, 4-11, 12-14 in 48 minutes in another preliminary round clash.
It was no different in the men’s section as world No 68 Soumyajit Ghosh also made a first round exit losing to Padasak Tanviriyavechakul by 1-4 margin in 35 minutes. Left-handed Padasak, a medallist at the South East Asian Games won 11-8, 11-6, 12-14, 11-6, 13-11 in a well-contested match which was more closely fought than the scoreline would suggest.