New Delhi: The Indian men's team finished fifth, its best ever results, after beating Hong Kong 3-1 in the ongoing 24th ITTF Asian Table Tennis Championships at Yogyakarta on wednesday. Concurrently,they also won gold in the 1st Division when they blanked out Iran 3-0.In the classification match for the fifth position, India tried out a new opening with A. Sharath Kamal who, after the initial struggle, managed to put it across Lam Siu Hang 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7 to provide the lead.
In the second tie, Anthony Amalraj had it rather easy, in spite oflosing the first game, as he beat NG Pak Nam 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7while in the third singles, G. Sathiyan, defeated Kwan Man Ho 11-5,11-13, 11-7, 14-12. In the second and fourth games, which saw deuces,Sathiyan won the last on his second match-point.Incidentally, Sathiyan was the lone Indian who did not lose a singlematch in team event matches, having played all matches from 1stDivision to finishing fifth in the Champions Division, like Sharath did.
In the final of the 1st Division, Sharath opened again for India anddowned Amin Ahmadin 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6 while both Sathiyan andAmalraj were stretched fully. Sathiyan beat Air Hossein Hodaei 6-11,11-4, 10-12, 11-7, 12-10 while Amaraj accounted for Noshad Alamiyan18-16, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-9 to win the yellow metal.The individual events begin from tomorrow.(UNI)