Indian table tennis’ poster boy Sharath Kamal has got off to an impressive start at the Tokyo Olympics. Kamal won his opening encounter against Tiago Apolonia of Portugal to advance to the next round. The 39-year-old was the better of the two paddlers as he dominated the game before sealing it with a 4-2 win.
Having lost a closely fought first game, Kamal came roaring back to take the second and third game with some impressive play. As the game progressed, he looked more and more confident, his swift backhands were the highlight of the day as he toyed away with Tiago. The sixth game was yet another close game with both players going neck to neck, but this time it was Sharath who emerged victorious to seal the match.
Chinese challenge awaits Sharath Kamal
Sharath will now face China’s Ma Long in his third-round encounter. The match is set to be a thriller with the Chinese being seeded third coming into the Summer Games. While the Chinese are renowned to dominate the event ever since its inception, Kamal is no stranger to strong opponents. The Indian, who looked solid, now has a great opportunity to pull off an upset.
Among others, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee have qualified for the next round while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran crashed out with a shocking loss to a lower seed. Batra will be facing off against Austria’s Sofia Polcanova and will be confident following an emphatic win the other day. Sutirtha too will be in action against Fu Yu of Portugal later today.