India’s men’s table tennis team created history on Monday by ensuring the nation’s first ever medal in the sport by defeating Japan 3-1 in the quarter-finals.
The team comprising of G Sathiyan, Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai upset second seeds Japan – who were not fielding their best side, but still had higher-ranked players – to reach the semi-finals.
World No 39 Sathiyan beat world No 19 Kenta Matsudaira 3-1 in the 4th match of the tie to give India a memorable win.
The tie was set up nicely for India when Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal beat the top two players in Japan’s squad with Harmeet Desai in the position to wrap the match up 3-0. After leading by two games to one, Desai couldn’t cross the finish line against Yoshida.
It was then Sathiyan who stepped up in the crunch match and sealed the deal for India.
Here’s full list of India’s wins: (World ranking in brackets)
Sathiyan G (#33) v Jin Ueda (#28) 11-9, 11-9, 11-7
Sharath Kamal (#39) v Kenta Matsudaira (#19) 11-8, 12-10, 11-8
Harmeet Desai (#99) v Masaki Yoshida (#57) 11-9, 12-14, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11
Sathiyan G (#33) v Kenta Matsudaira (#19) 12-10, 6-11, 11-7, 11-4