Tokyo: India’s paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal entered the third round of the men’s singles event by defeating Tiago Apolonia of Portugal at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
The 39-year-old Kamal started slowly as the Portuguese player ran away from the first game. Sharath regained his momentum in the second game and registered a 2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 win in a hard-fought match.
The Indian, playing in his fourth Olympics, takes on top seed Olympic and world champion Ma Long of China in the third round. Kamal, who made his Olympic debut in Athens in 2004 and reached the second round, found it difficult to handle Apolonia’s serve in the first game. The Portuguese won the game 11-2 with a nine-point lead.
Portugal’s Tiago made a comeback in Game 4, and the match was drawn 2–2. However, Kamal held on in the following two matches, and as a result, advanced to the next round.
Today, Manika Batra will play her Round 3 match in the women’s singles event at the Olympics here.