The Indian men’s table tennis team, comprising Manav Thakkar, Manus Shah, and Harmeet Desai, secured an emphatic win over Tajikistan in their 19th Asian Games encounter. The competition unfolded at GSP Gymnasium Table 1, where the Indian contingent dismantled Tajikistan with a resounding 3-0 victory.
Kickstarting the action for India, Manav Thakkar swiftly triumphed over Afzal Mahmudov in a mere 17 minutes, granting his team an early 1-0 lead against Tajikistan. The initial game witnessed a closely-fought battle, but Manav ultimately prevailed. In the second game, he showcased a more aggressive style, securing an 11-5 win. Despite trailing 4-6 at one point, Manav executed a remarkable recovery, concluding the second game comfortably with scores of 11-8, 11-5, 11-8.
In the subsequent match, Manus Shah overcame Ubaydullo Sultonov with a scoreline of 13-11, 11-7, 11-5. Although Sultanov initially dominated the first game, opening up a 9-7 lead, Manus orchestrated a remarkable comeback, equalizing the score to 9-9 with two swift points. Manus ultimately claimed the first game 13-11 and continued his dominance, securing the third game with a score of 11-5, thus clinching the match in straight games. This triumph extended India’s lead to 2-0 over Tajikistan.
The star player of the tie, Harmeet Desai, effortlessly defeated Ibrokhim Ismoilzoda 11-1, 11-3, 11-5. Harmeet established a commanding 6-0 lead against Ibrokhim and swiftly extended it to 10-1, culminating in an 11-1 victory in the opening game. In the second game, Harmeet maintained control with a 10-3 lead, ultimately securing the game 11-3. He continued his dominance in the third game, triumphing 11-5 and winning the match in straight games.
India’s commanding performance resulted in a 3-0 straight-match victory over Tajikistan in their preliminary Pool F contest.
In earlier events of the day, the Indian women’s table tennis team, featuring Diya Parag Chitale, Ayhika Mukherjee, and Sutirtha Mukherjee, secured an easy 3-0 win against Nepal.