The Indian men’s table tennis team advanced to the round of 16 despite losing 3-0 to France in their final Group 2 tie at the ITTF World Team Championships Finals 2022 in Chengdu, China on Tuesday.
In the first match, youngster Manav Thakkar went down 3-0 (11-6, 11-8, 11-8) to world No. 30 Alexis Lebrun.
In the second match, Commonwealth Games 2022 bronze-medallist Sathiyan Gnanasekaran suffered a shock 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-6) defeat to 16-year-old Felix Lebrun, the younger brother of Alexis.
National Games champion Harmeet Desai then gave a tough fight to Jules Rolland but ultimately lost 3-2 (13-11, 11-13, 11-7, 8-11, 7-11) and conceded the tie.
However, the men’s table tennis team had won their previous three matches, including a memorable win over second seeds Germany, and ended up with seven points in four ties.
It placed India third in Group 2 and ensured that they advanced to the knockout stages as one of the best-placed third teams in the group stages.
The Indian women’s team has also made it through to the round of 16.