Payas wins silver at Asian TT meet
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.”