Indian men’s TT team’s Olympic qualification bid ends with loss to Czech Republic
The Indian men’s table tennis team’s quest for an Olympic berth ended in disappointment after it suffered a 1-3 defeat to Czech Republic in a play-off match of the qualifying event here. The loss significantly reduced India’s chances of qualifying for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
The Indian team will now hope to make the cut during the Asian Olympic qualification tournament to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from April 6 to 12.
The world number nine Indian team comprising G Sathiyan (world rank 30) and veteran Sharath Kamal (WR 33) was expected to get the better of the lower-ranked Czech Republic on Saturday.
However, India went down in the opening match with doubles pair of Sharath and Harmeet Desai losing 1-3 (14-12 5-11 9-11 9-11) to Tomas Polansky and Lubomir Jancarik.
Sharath was India’s sole winner as he defeated Jancarik 3-1 (6-11 11-7 11-8 11-8) but his victory went in vain after Sathiyan lost both his singles rubber (0-3 and 2-3), ending India’s chances of qualification from this tournament.
“Unfortunately we are out of contention in the team events but now will fight for a place in Singles event in Tokyo Olympics !! Will bounce back stronger,” Sathiyan tweeted.
Earlier, the Indian women’s table tennis team lost its play-off match, going down 2-3 to France.