Payas wins sil­ver at Asian TT meet

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - Kabeer.Khan @times­ Payas Jain

Pune: For the last cou­ple of months, Payas Jain and his coaches were un­cer­tain about the teenager play­ing in the cadets (U-15) di­vi­sion or ju­nior (U-18) di­vi­sion. He was mostly play­ing in the se­nior events. The14-year old pad­dler’s cadet rank­ing thus plunged from World No. 4 to 18.

On Satur­day, Payas won the sil­ver medal in the Asian Ju­nior and Cadet Ta­ble Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships in Ulaan­baatar, Mon­go­lia. In the final, the Delhi-based pad­dler went down 0-4 to World No. 1 and top seed, Yuanyu Chen of China. On his way to the final, Payas, seeded sev­enth, beat fourth seed Izaac Quek Yong of South Korea in the quar­ter­fi­nals. But Payas was no match for Yaunyu who won the match 13-11, 11-6, 11-8,


11-5 within 20 min­utes.

The sil­ver medal has en­sured Payas a place in the Asian team for World Cadet Challenge that will be held at Wla­dys­la­wowo (Poland) in Oc­to­ber. “My confidence was low com­ing in to the sin­gles’ com­pe­ti­tion be­cause I had not even won a game in the team event (on Tues­day). I played well but today, I could not match my op­po­nent’s strat­egy,” said Payas. Ear­lier this year, he had won a sil­ver in the team’s event in Bahrain Open. Doha: In­dian foot­ball coach Igor Sti­mac on Satur­day said that his team has noth­ing to fear in its sec­ond World Cup qual­i­fier against Asian cham­pi­ons Qatar de­spite com­ing off a painful 1-2 de­feat in the cam­paign opener at home. In­dia are play­ing their sec­ond game on Tues­day. The team reached here on Satur­day ahead of the match against Qatar, who had won the Asian Cup in Jan­uary and are ex­pected to pose a tougher challenge to the vis­i­tors.

“As soon as the Oman match ended, we shifted our focus im­me­di­ately to the next match. Qatar are the strong­est team in the group and play­ing them will not be easy. How­ever, it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to learn from,” Sti­mac said. “Ob­vi­ously, we have to change 4-5 play­ers. We’ll see how ev­ery­one is feel­ing. There is no rea­son to fear and we shall look to score goals and play good foot­ball.”

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