DUSSELDORF: Star Indian paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal charge into the pre-quarterfinals was checked when Chinese Lin Gaoyuan won 11-13, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-8, 11-4 in a late round of 32 matches at the 2017 World Table Tennis Championships here.
With that came the end of the top-ranked Indian's tussle for a place in the sun along with that of the other team members, who were part of the campaign.
Sharath warded off early threats and fought to win the first game on his second game point to give himself and the country a glimmer of hope. But Gaoyuan, ranked 40 in the world and seeded 33, had other ideas as he surged to a 2-1 lead before dropping his second game when Sharath came close to realising his ambitions. However, the Chinese steadied his game and did not allow any liberty to the Indian, ranked 54.
Sharath admitted that it was a disappointment for him.
"When I made it 2-all, I thought I had a chance. But some mistakes on my part proved costly. Lin didn't let me play my game in the latter part, he was too good," said the Indian.
Two years ago at the Suzhou world championships, Sharath was in a great form before pulling out at the same stage after a hip injury.
However, the best to come out of the ongoing world championships was the performance of Manika Batra and Mouma Das, who had entered the quarter-finals before bowing out to the Chinese duo of Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen.