In World Team Qualification tournament Indian men’s table tennis team beat Luxembourg and progressed to the pre-quarterfinals in Gondomor, Portugal.
India, seeded fifth, were favourites to win the tie against the lowly ranked Luxembourg team. First up, Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai secured a comfortable win in the opening doubles rubber. The duo did not have to break much sweat as they beat Michely Gilles and Eric Glod 11-6, 16-14, 11-6 to give India the lead.
Then, Sathiyan was up against World No. 211 Luka Mladenovic. He got off to a poor start and lost the opening two games. From 2-0 down, Sathiyan recovered just in time to win by 8-11, 9-11, 11-3, 13-11, 11-6 to give India a 2-0 lead.
In the third tie Sharath Kamal faced Luxembourg’s top-ranked paddler Glod. He fought hard and took third game but Sharath Kamal sealed the match 11-3, 11-3, 12-14, 11-5 to give India an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the tie.
Now India will face Slovenia in round of 16 as Darko Jorgic and Bojan Tokic sees Slovenia battle past Iran 3-1. Indian men’s team is just one win away to book their ticket for Tokyo Olympics.