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Asian Games

Asian Games Table Tennis: Manika Batra becomes first Indian to reach last 8 in singles

Manika Batra achieves historic Singles Quarters berth at the Asian Games 2023 after two prior Round of 16 exits.

Manika Batra Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 women

FILE PHOTO: Manika Batra won two matches to help India beat Hungary at the World Table Tennis Team Championships in South Korea in February. 


Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 29 Sep 2023 3:49 PM GMT

Manika Batra has become the first Indian paddler ever to advance to the singles quarterfinals of the Asian Games after defeating Thailand's Suthasini Sawettabut in her round of 16 match.

After an intense first four points that left the score tied at 2-2, Batra displayed her composure and skill to clinch the lead in the match by winning the first game. Suthasini would fight back in the second game to draw level. Batra will regain her lead, claiming the third game. But Suthasini would level the parity in the fourth game, forcing the decider.

Batra, however, held on to her nerves and advanced to the quarterfinals winning the fifth game and the match 3-2. The final result was 11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-13, 12-10, 11-6 in Batra's favour.

This accomplishment is especially significant for Batra, who had previously been eliminated in the round of 16 in the last two editions of the Asian Games. She will now face Wang Yidi of China(world rank 4) on Saturday, September 30 in the quarterfinals.

In contrast, the men's table tennis competition had mixed results for Indian players in store in the round of 16 matches. The experienced duo of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost to China's Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin, with a score of 0-3 (5-11, 4-11, 7-11).

However, Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar provided a glimmer of hope with a hard-fought victory, prevailing with a score of 3-2 (3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8) over Singapore's Yew En Koen Pang and Izaac Quek Yong. They now face top-seeded Woojin Jang and Jonghoon Lim in the quarterfinals.

Ayhika-Sutirtha through to quarters

In other thrilling table tennis action at the Asian Games, the Indian contingent experienced a mixed outcomes.

Sreeja Akula and Diya Chitale faced a tough challenge in women's doubles and unfortunately, they are out of the competition with a score of (11-3, 11-5, 11-8).

On a brighter note, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee secured a convincing victory in their Round of 16 women's doubles against the Thailand duo, winning with a score of 11-8, 11-7, 11-4. This victory propels them into the quarterfinals, keeping India's hopes alive in the women's doubles category.

In the men's singles category, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan faced a formidable opponent in China's Chuqin Wang in the Round of 16. Unfortunately, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan had to bow out of the competition, with a score of 11-3, 11-3, 11-6, 11-3, thus ending his journey in this edition of the Asian Games.

Another experienced Indian paddler, Sharath Kamal, took on Chih Yuan of Chinese Taipei in a closely contested match. Despite a valiant effort, Sharath Kamal lost with a score of 7-11, 10-12, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 8-11. This marked the end of Sharath Kamal's singles campaign in the Asian Games.

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