Perfect start for Indian men paddlers at Worlds

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 28 (IANS) Indian male paddlers had a perfect start to their campaign at the World Championships by blanking out Vietnam 3-0 in the first round of the Second Division here on Sunday. Clubbed in Group F, India took on Vietnam Sunday morning and thumped them in quick time.

Opening the attack for India, Achanta Sharath Kamal defeated Anh Tu Nguyen 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 11-6. The Indian had a fine start but after leading 2-0, he dropped a game when Anh came back. However, the experienced Indian shut out the challenge by winning the next game.

For Anthony Amalraj, who took on Tien Dat Le in the next rubber, it was rather easy when he quickly disposed of his opponent 12-10, 11-5, 11-6 and after that Harmeet Desai downed Ba Tuan Anh Doan 11-5, 13-11, 2-10 in a tough contest. Despite the threat from Doan, the Indian had things under control.

Both Soumyajit Ghosh and G. Sathiyan, the other members of the men’s squad, had a free day today.

Fortunately, the draw is relaxed with just one match per day as the Indians will take on Turkey on Monday afternoon. After that they will play Nigeria, Switzerland and Slovakia.

There are 24 teams in the Second Division divided into four groups of six teams each. All teams will play each other in round robin with the top teams qualifying for the second stage.

India’s women’s team comprises Manika Batra, Mouma Das, K. Shamini, Pooja Sahasrabudde and Madhurika Patkar and are placed in Group G where they have Croatia, Nigeria, Columbia, Puerto Rico and Portugal for company.

In their first outing, they will take on Columbia in the first round of Stage 1 in the Second Division.

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