Soumyajit Ghosh turned out to be a hero with win in the deciding fifth rubber as India upset fourth seed South Korea 3-2 to reach the semifinals of the World Junior Table Tennis Championships in Bahrain today.
However, India have a daunting task ahead as they face top seeded China in the semifinals tomorrow. Seeded fifth, India began with Harmeet Desai who defeated Chan-Hyeok Park 13-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-5 and then Ghosh doubled the lead by downing Dong Hyun Kim 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.
India came under pressure as South Korea made it 2-2, riding on the victories of Baek Kwang II and Hyun Kim. Kwang II beat G Sathiyan 5-11, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11 and Desai went down to Kim 2-11, 11-8, 9-11, 12-14. Ghosh took the field for the do-or-die contest of the quarter-finals and did not disappoint as he came from behind to beat Chan-Hyeok 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7.
"Soumyajit was brilliant. At times he cleverly mixed his guile with aggression. And, to me, that paid rich dividends," said India coach Kamlesh Mehta.