Guwahatis, October 10:
Young Archana Kamath becomes the first Indian ever to enter the semifinals of the Youth Olympic Games in table tennis on Wednesday.
18-year-old Archana defeated Azerbaijan’s Jing Ning 4-3.
She will take on China’s Yingsha Sun for a place in the finals later in the evening, at 7:15 P.M. (IST).
In the quarters, the Indian got off to a flying start with a 13-11 win in a tight game. However, Jing bounced back to win the next two games (11-8, 11-6) and grab the advantage.
Archana, however, wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass. Attacking with confidence, she crushed her opponent 11-3 in the next game to restore parity.
Jing, who is ranked higher than the Indian, got her wits back to go ahead in the tie once again winning the fifth game.
With just a win away from securing a berth in the semifinals, Jing toiled hard and didn’t leave any stone unturned. But, Archana held her nerves and took the game to the decider with a narrow 12-10 win.
Buoyed by the win and the 3-3 scoreline, Archana saved the best for the last and easily won the last game 11-7.
“It was a very tough match and she fought till the very end, so I’m very happy that I could win. I’m really excited for the semifinals,” the bright-eyed Archana said after her unprecedented win.
Earlier yesterday, Manav Thakkar couldn’t make his way past Japanese prodigy Tomokazu Harimoto and capitulated 1-4 in the round of 16 to bow out of the tournament.