Sharath's unbeaten run ends, India lose to Turkey in World TT | other | Hindustan Times
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Sharath's unbeaten run ends, India lose to Turkey in World TT

other Updated: Feb 28, 2008 22:55 IST
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India's top paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal's unbeaten run at the World Table Tennis Championship ended on Thursday as the men's table tennis team went down fighting 2-3 to Turkey in a close finish in the second stage of the championship's division two here.

India had qualified for the knockout stage after emerging second in Group E behind Egypt but their hopes were dashed after they lost the opening match for the 25-36 positions Thursday.

Against Turkey, India came back strongly to draw level after losing the first two matches before Shubhajit Saha went down in the decider 4-11, 9-11, 12-10, 7-11 to Jiang Pengfei.

In the first match, Irfan Tavukcuoglu defeated Shubhajit Saha 11-9, 4-11, 11-3, 11-4. Jiang then survived in-form Sharath 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7 to make it 2-0 for Turkey.

The turnaround began with out-of-touch Soumyadeep Roy thrashing Gencay Menge 11- 5, 11-6, 11-8, and then Sharath came back strongly to give India a chance, trouncing Irfan 12-10, 11-5, 11-4 in the next match. But Shubhajit failed to deliver the knockout punch in the decider.

India will now play Nigeria Friday for 33-36 positions.

Meanwhile, the Indian women's team had won their first round tie of the second stage Wednesday defeating Greece 3-2 and will take on Serbia in the next round.