Tenacious Swastika qualifies for World championship



Sports Bureau

Swastika Ghosh became the fourth Indian to qualify for the World Table Tennis Championship after beat- ing Chinese Taipei’s Liu Hsing-Yin to be among the 28 women singles quali- fiers from the Asian Conti- nental Stage of 2023 WTTC Finals in Doha on Wednesday.

Ranked a distant 243, Swastika punched way above her weight to bring down 70th-ranked Liu 4-11, 11-7, 2-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 in the playoff for 17 to 24 places.

Swastika joins Sreeja Ak- ula, Manika Batra and Sha- rath Kamal who made it by finishing among the top-16 from the continent.
Since only a maximum of four players from a na- tion are permitted in theWorld championship to be played in Durban from May 20, Diya Chitale and Reeth Rishya still have a chance to fight for the fourth spot.
On Wednesday, in the playoffs for 17-24 places, Korea’s Lee Zion defeated Diya Chitale 4-1 and Thai- land’s Jinnipa Sawettabut stopped Reeth 4-2.
Diya and Reeth are placed in the same quarter of the draw. In the playoffs for 25-28 spots, they could face each other. Before that, Diya will have to beat Hong Kong’s Ng Wing Lam and Reeth must overcome Korea’s Choi Hyojoo on Thursday.
In the men’s singles,where 25 spots were up for grabs, Harmeet Desai is still in the hunt for the last spot.
On Thursday morning, Harmeet faces Singapore’s Izaac Quek, who defeated G. Sathiyan in the cam- paign-opener, for a place in the 25-28 places playoff. Should he win, Harmeet will have to win two more matches to snatch the 25th spot.

In men’s doubles, Sha- rath and Sathiyan made it among the 14 qualified pairs after beating Qatar’s Mohammad Abdulwahhab and Ahmad Khalil Al-Mo- hannadi 11-5, 11-0, 11-9, 11-8.

Similarly, in women’s doubles, Sreeja and Reeth defeated Singapore’s Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru 11-6, 12-10, 13-11, 11-7 to be among the 12 qualifiers.

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