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Asian Games

Asian Games Table Tennis: Ayhika-Sutirtha wins bronze, 1st ever women's doubles medal for India

Indian paddlers Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee have won India's maiden medal in women's doubles at the Asian Games.

Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee
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Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee to compete in WTT Star Contender Bangkok, starting from tomorrow (Photo Credit: CGTN Sports)

By

Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 3 Oct 2023 5:45 AM GMT

The dynamic duo of Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee, affectionately called The Mukherjees, put up a vilant display in the women's doubles semifinal at the Asian Games, but failed to overcome the North Korean hurdle in the deciding seventh game.

Ayhika and Sutirtha, however, will return home, holding their head high for being the first Indian women's doubles pair to win a medal at the Asian Games. India's previous two medals - bronze - came in the men's team and mixed doubles events at the 2018 Asian Games. In the process, Ayhika and Sutirtha became the second Indian duo to win a doubles title.

At the 2018 Asiad, Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra won the mixed double bronze medal.

Their remarkable journey to this historic bronze began with a series of record-breaking victories. On Saturday, Ayhika and Sutirtha achieved a milestone by becoming the first Indian women's doubles pair to reach the semifinals in the history of the Asian Games.

Ayhika and Sutirtha ensured a medal after defeating world no. 2 Chen Meng and Wang Yidi, the Chinese world champions, in the quarterfinals.

In the ultimate battle for the final, The Mukherjees from Naihati faced off against the North Korean pair of Suyong Cha and Sugyong Pak. The Indian duo made a strong start, clinching the first game with a four-point advantage. Although they faced a setback in the second game, losing by a narrow margin, they quickly regained their composure and seized the third game, leaving the Koreans with no chance.

The fourth game witnessed a spirited fight from both sides, with the Korean pair initially taking a three-point lead. However, Ayhika and Sutirtha fought valiantly to narrow the gap from 10-5 to 10-8. Despite their efforts, they lost the fourth game by a slim margin, setting the stage for a thrilling 2-2 tie between India and North Korea.

Although the Korean duo made a comeback in the fifth game, Ayhika and Sutirtha held their ground and secured the sixth game with an 11-5 victory. With this win, they pushed the match to the deciding seventh game.

However, in the deciding game, Suyong Cha and Sugyong Pak got off to a massive 7-1 lead and ultimately secured an 11-2 victory, despite the spirited fight put up by the Indian pair.

Final Score: Ayhika and Sutirtha lost 11-7, 8-11, 11-7, 8-11, 9-11, 11-5, 3-11 against Suyong Cha and Sugyong Pak in 60 minutes.

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