New Delhi: Soumyajit Ghosh, Anthony Amalraj and Harmeet Desai joined Achanta Sharath Kamal in the main draw of the $3,00,000 World Tour Korean Open Super Series Table Tennis Championships at Incheon City (Korea) on Thursday. Sharath Kamal, who got a direct entry into the 64-men main draw because of his superior world ranking, will take on Donghoon Kang of Korea while his compatriot Youngsik Jung will clash with Ghosh. As for Amalraj, he will meet another Korean opponent in Hyundeok Seo and Desai will run into Singapore’s Ning Gao. All the main draw matches are slated for Friday.
Unlike Sharath Kamal, the other four Indians had to go though the Stage 1 group matches before qualifying for the main draw where 16 players were directly seeded. Of the five Indians, only national champion Sanil Shetty failed to cross the first stage as he finished third in his group matches.
Among the three other Indians, Amalraj had finished on top of his group while both Ghosh and Desai finished No. 2 in their respective groups. In the pre-qualifying rounds in the morning, Ghosh defeated Mattias Karlsson of Sweden 4-3 (11-5, 14-16, 8-1, 11-5, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6).
Desai, on the other hand, was lucky to grab a main draw slot despite losing to Singapore’s Zhaoxu Xin 3-4 (13-11, 9-11, 11-13, 14-12, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11) as the best loser. But Amalraj didn’t have to go through such hassles after having got the top position in his group, thus qualifying directly for the main draw.
The team members, who are gaining vital match practices in Korea, will next travel to Tokyo for the Japan Open beginning next week. After that they will have attend a training camp at Patila before flying off to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. Meanwhile, the women’s team, chose for the CWG, is undergoing a fortnight-long stint at the National Training Centre in China.