Indian women paddlers began their Asian Games campaign in style, thrashing Uzbekistan 3-0 in the group stage of the team championship in Doha on Wednesday.
The Indians were never really tested in the Group A tie as they conceded just one game before disposing of the Uzbeks in about 80 minutes in a lopsided contest at the Al Arabi Indoor Stadium.
The Indians, however, began on a shaky note with former national champion Poulomi Ghatak losing the first game to Aliye Ismailova by 7-11. But she bounced back brilliantly to wrap the next three games by 11-6, 13-11, 11-6.
"I was not getting my rhythm in the first game. I just had to calm down a little bit and focus. Once I regained my composure, things became easier," Ghatak said.
National Champion Mouma Das then gave the Indians a 2-0 lead by prevailing over Ekaterina Levina by 11-4, 12-14, 17-15 though she had to overcome some anxious moments, particularly in the second and third games.
While both Ghatak and Mouma had some lapses in concentration, Shamini Kumaresan had no such problems as she routed Madina Ayubova by 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 in quick time to give India a rousing 3-0 triumph.
The women's team will play another group-A match against Korea later in the day while the men's team will play two matches -- against Japan and China -- in the team events.
Although the 15th edition of the Asian Games will officially get underway from Decemeber 1, 2006, but some preliminary rounds in disciplines like table tennis, basketball, football and baseball have already commenced.