The Indian men’s table tennis team advanced to the round of 16 despite losing 0-3 to France in their final Group 2 tie at the ITTF World Team Championships Finals 2022, here on Tuesday.
In the first match, youngster Manav Thakkar went down 0-3 to (6-11, 8-11, 8-11) to world No 30 Alexis Lebrun. In the second match, Commonwealth Games 2022 bronze-medallist Sathiyan Gnanasekaran suffered a shocking 0-3 (4-11, 2-11, 6-11) defeat to 16-year-old Felix Lebrun, the younger brother of Alexis.
Thereafter, National Games champion Harmeet Desai gave a tough fight to Jules Rolland but ultimately lost 2-3 (11-13,13-11,7-11, 11-8, 7-11) and conceded the tie.
However, the men’s table tennis team had won their previous three matches, including a memorable win over second seeds Germany and ended up with seven points in four ties.
It placed India third in Group 2 and ensured that they advanced to the knockout stages as one of the best-placed third teams in the group stages.
The Indian women’s team has also made it through to the round of 16.