New Delhi: Indian paddler G Sathiyan stunned world number 17 Sangeun Jong in the final match of the preliminary rounds to qualify for the main draw of the ITTF Austrian Open in Linz.
Sathiyan began his impressive run in the elite Platinum tournament, featuring 59 out of the world’s top 60 players, by beating the recently-crowned Youth Olympic champion Wang Chuqin from China. He tamed Chuqin 4-1 to make the most of his first round bye in the preliminaries. He got off to a winning 11-8 start but lost the next one 12-14. He, however, recovered quickly to claim the next three games 11-8 11-6 and 18-16 for a morale-boosting victory.
Sathiyan then beat Slovakia’s Lubomir Pistej 4-0 to show that he was on a roll. In the final preliminary, he faced Jong and erased a two-game deficit to come out a 6-11 13-11 11-3 11-8 11-6 11-6 to grab a berth in the main round. He faces Marcos Freitas of Portugal in the Round of 32 later in the night. This is a great opportunity for Sathiyan to pick up crucial points and improve his rankings in the year’s last major Pro Tour event. All other Indian players fell by the wayside in the preliminary stage.