Macau: National champion Poulomi Ghatak led the charge as Indian women paddlers stunned fancied Thailand 3-0 to enter the Asian Table Tennis Championships' quarterfinals for the first time. (Agencies)
The men paddlers, on the other hand, moved into the second stage from Group A beating Bahrain and UAE with a similar margin of 3-0. They will take on Iran for a place in the last-eight stage of the championships.
If they manage to beat Iran, the Indian men will run into Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.
However, the story of the day was the maiden entry of Indian women players into the champion division of the meet. They will now take on the Chinese.
Though it will be tough against the champions, the Indian girls, particularly Poulomi Ghatak, can take pride in what they achieved against Thailand.
Mouma Das opened the proceedings by beating Anisara Muangsuk in straight games of 11-9, 11-7, 12-10 while Poulomi kept the momentum by overcoming Nanthana Komwong with a 11-4, 14-12, 11-6 to give India a commanding lead.
This lead proved decisive for Ankita Das who, despite losing a game to Suttlux Rattanaprayoon, won 14-12, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5, leaving Thailand to compete for the ninth place.
National coach Bhavani Mukherjee praised national champion Poulomi for the gutsy play she put up against her Thai opponent.
"Poulomi was too good today with her attacking game that left her opponent clueless. This momentum also helped Ankita in the third rubber," he said.
Earlier, drawn in Group C, India beat Turkmenistan 3-0 and blanked neighbours Sri Lanka in similar fashion to enter stage two.
The format of the championships is that teams finishing first in each group progress to the knockout stage with two finalists from there entering the champion division.
Macau: National champion Poulomi Ghatak led the charge as Indian women paddlers stunned fancied Thailand 3-0 to enter the Asian Table Tennis Championships' quarterfinals for the first time.