Paddlers Soumyajit, Ankita book London berth; Sharath misses out
Soumyajit Ghosh and Ankita Das, booked their London Olympics berths yesterday in the Asian Olympic qualification table tennis tournament in Hong Kong, but it was heartbreaking for top paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal.
For Ghosh and Ankita, the berths came via the continental quotas, after they topped from the South Asian region. Ghosh defeated Anthony Amal Raj 4-0 (12-10, 11-9, 11-6, 11-7) and Ankita downed K. Shamini 4-3 (8-11, 11-3, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8) to clinch the two places for India. Sharath Kamal, who earlier lost to Wu Chi-Chi of Taipei 9-11, 9-11, 7-11, 11-2, 8-11, had to take on Amal Raj to make progress and meet Ghosh, who had won against Vietnam’s Tran Tuan Quynh. But it was Amal Raj who defeated Sharath 4-3 (9-11, 12-10, 11-13, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3) to shut out his chances and earn a meeting against Ghosh.
Elated as he was, the 19-year-old Ghosh said it was his dream to appear on the biggest of all stages. “I have realised my dream today and will prepare well for the Olympics. It was a tough match against Amal Raj,” he said.