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Commonwealth TT: 12 Indians in women's singles main draw
Nine Indians gained entry into the main draw of the women's singles from among the 16 qualifiers to join the three seeds -- Archana Kamath, Ayhika Mukherjee and Madhurika Patkara -- in the 21st Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.
This means that exactly half the number (12) of total contestants for the main draw -- 24 -- will be Indians. Eight seeded paddlers have been given direct entry to the main draw, who will also get first-round byes.
Among the other qualifiers, three are from Singapore, two from Nigeria and one each from Australia and Malaysia.
Indian paddlers who failed to make the cut included Pooja Sahasrabhude, Reeth Risya and Surbhi Patwari. Patwari managed just one victory against Malaysian A. Xin Tee before losing to Group 11 leader Rui Xuan Goi of Singapore 8-11, 1-11, 11-13.
In Group 12, Rishya beat Sri Lankan Chamathsara but lost her crucial match against Singapore's Eunice Zoe Lim 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 9-11, 13-15.
It was a very disappointing outing for Sahasrabhude who finished third despite being seeded at the top of Group 14. After beating Scotland's Lara Sterling, Sahasrabhude suffered a shock loss to Nigeria's Ajoke Ojomu. She finished her campaign with another defeat to Singapore's Tan-Llin Jassy, going down 3-11, 13-11, 5-11, 12-10, 7-11. The Nigerian qualified from the group.
In comparison, only six out of 11 Indians went through the qualification process to make the main draw of the men's singles.
Those who failed to make the cut include Sourav Saha (Group 2), Anirban Ghosh (Group 5), Arjun Ghosh (Group 6), Jubin Kumar (Group 12) and Siddesh Pande (Group 16).
The singles main draw in both the sections will begin on Sunday. Also, it would be interesting to see which of the Indian mixed pairs go on to claim the gold in the final to be played on Sunday.