by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor
Success for India but it was Thailand who made the better start; in the opening encounter of the engagement Padasak Tanviriyavechakul beat Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in three straight games (11-9, 11-6, 14-12).
First blood to Thailand but that was to be the sum total of their success; enter Sharath Kamal Achanta; he accounted for Supanut Wisutmaythangkoon in three straight games (11-9, 11-6, 11-7) to calm Indian nerves.
Later he was to return to the fray to conclude matters by beating Padasak Tanviriyavechakul (11-7, 11-6, 11-4); a player notably very forehand orientated.
“In the first match against Supanut I was down 3-8, I came back to win the game 11-9 and from there on I never felt in great trouble. For sure Padasak is good from the forehand, so I never let him play forehands!” Sharath Kamal Achanta
The one further win for India was recorded by Harmeet Desai.
“Passara, he’s good; I’d seen him before and I decided that I must be aggressive. In the first game I was 5-9 down and won; that gave me confidence. I was able to build my game as the match progressed. I kept changing my serves and I played better and better. He is good from the backhand, so I played wide to his forehand.” Harmeet Desai
Impressive from India, arguably it was even more impressive from DPR Korea. Choe Il beat Afshin Noroozi (13-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5), Pak Sin Hyok accounted for Amin Ahmadian (11-9, 11-6, 11-2) before Kang Wi Hun ended matters by overcoming Hamid Taherkhani (11-4, 11-5, 11-5).
At the quarter-final stage of the Men’s Team event India plays Japan, DPR Korea opposes China.