Gondomar: The Indian men's table tennis team's quest for an Olympic berth ended in disappointment after it suffered a 1-3 defeat to Czech Republic in a play-off match of the qualifying event.
The loss significantly reduced India's chances of qualifying for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
The Indian team will now hope to make the cut during the Asian Olympic qualification tournament to be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 6 to 12 April.
The World No 9 Indian team comprising Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (World No 30) and veteran Sharath Kamal (No 33) was expected to get the better of the lower-ranked Czech Republic on Saturday.
However, India went down in the opening match with doubles pair of Sharath and Harmeet Desai losing 1-3 (14-12 5-11 9-11 9-11) to Tomas Polansky and Lubomir Jancarik.
Sharath was India's sole winner as he defeated Jancarik 3-1 (6-11 11-7 11-8 11-8) but his victory went in vain after Sathiyan lost both his singles rubbers (0-3 and 2-3), ending India's chances of qualification from this tournament.
"Unfortunately we are out of contention in the team events but now will fight for a place in Singles event in Tokyo Olympics !! Will bounce back stronger," Sathiyan tweeted.
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Updated Date: Jan 26, 2020 16:35:08 IST