Sekhar Challa showed classy play against Srinivas of India. Despite losing 0-25 in the first game, Sekhar held his nerves and came back very strongly to beat K.Srinivas 25-0 in the second. In the 3rd Srinivas took all the chances that came his way and beat Sekhar 25-0 in a very interesting encounter.
2 USA players in last 16
Jayadeva Suryadevara and Challa entered the last 16 easily beating Amila Deelipa of Qatar and Toru Matsubara of Japan 2-0. In the 16, Jayadev and Challa both took their formidable opponents Moniruzzaman (Bangladesh) and Srinivas (India) to the distance losing 1-2 in both matches.
4 USA and 2 Canadians in last 32
Vishal Karangutkar and Neil Khatu qualified into the knock-out stage from their respective groups. Vishal losing his match to Prakash Gaikwad (India) 2-0 and Neil was beaten by Chamil Cooray (Sri Lanka) 2-0. Francis D’Costa and Manuel Coelho from Canada also qualified into the round of 32 winning 2 of their 3 league matches. The other Canadian Wajahat Mohammed had a tough group and failed to qualify.
Francis was pitted against the World, Asian and Indian Champion Yogesh Pardeshi and succumbed to his powerful opponent 2-0. A video tape on this match will be made available soon. Manuel also had a tall task against Nishant Fernando of Sri Lanka who is the Sri Lankan ace for many years and was a key figure in Sri Lanka winning the last world cup in France. Manuel as expected lost to Fernando 2-0, but took 7 points in the 1st game. Overall the North American contingent of 7 performed very well, with 6 making it into the last 32.
All 4 players from India, Yogesh, Prakash, Srinivas and C.Bharthidasan are in the quarters. The 2 Sri Lankans are Fernando and Cooray, along with the 2 Bangladeshi Hafizur Rahman and Moniruzzaman. A match up between Yogesh and Fernando seems very likely