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Not the Olympics | Day 6: Manika Batra's surprise package in table tennis

Not the Olympics | Day 6: Manika Batras surprise package in table tennis

Md Imtiaz

Published: 29 July 2020 8:22 AM GMT

Four months after the International Olympic Committee and officials in Japan postponed the Games amid soaring coronavirus infection rates and lockdowns across the world, uncertainty prevails. The unpredictable nature of the virus is making it impossible for officials to say definitively that the Games will happen or, if they do, what they might look like. Though we are missing the fervour of the quadrennial event, we are soaked in the Olympic spirit. For the next two weeks, we will be writing a series of article with the title “What if Olympic Happened”, where we will hypothetically discuss the day-wise performances of the Indian athletes, which were actually scheduled in the Olympics 2020 roster.

Day 6: 29 July 2020

Today would have been the sixth day at the Olympics, India could have been a part of one medal, but there were a few crucial matches lined up

Table Tennis

India's table tennis aspirations for the 2020 Olympics suffered a setback after both their men’s and women’s teams failed to secure qualification for the Tokyo Games The star of the women's team, Manika Batra also could not fire India to victory in their crucial tie against France. With just two singles entries allowed from each country, India can still harbour qualification hopes in the singles and mixed doubles events when they participate in the next qualification event before the Tokyo Olympics.

Manika won the 'Breakthrough Table Tennis Star' award at ITTF in 2018 which was big achievement in her career. and reflects her capability of pulling some upsets here and there. A run like in Commonwealth would be hard to expect in a stage like Olympics, but who knows she could make it to knock out stage and surprise us, but winning a medal is too much to expect in her debut Olympics.

Chances of winning medal: 30%


With as many as 15 Indian shooters having secured quota places, India is all set to send its largest-ever shooting contingent to Tokyo. On Day 6, 25m Pistol Women's Precision Stage was supposed to be held. Rahi Sarnobat and Chinki Yadav were on the radar for the event.

Rahi Sarnobat booked an Olympic berth for India with a gold in women’s 25m pistol event at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. In 2012, Rahi became the first Indian shooter to qualify for the 25 m pistol event at the Olympics, where she could only finish 19th. Rahi, who won a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup 2013 in Changwon, shot a total of 37 to claim the top honours.

On the other hand, Chinki Yadav earned another quota in the same event at the Asian Shooting Championship as she finished sixth in the finals. In qualification, she shot an exceptional 296 to reach a total of 588 and made it to the Final. She came behind Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpainboon, who shot 590 to finish at the top.The 21-yr-old daughter of an electrician from Bhopal, Chinki, won the quota for India as four shooters out of eight in Final already had quota and Chinki was among rest four finalists eligible for quota.

Chances of winning a medal - 80%


Today would have been the women's double semifinals event at the Olympics. This could have been a day, we could have seen Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina in action. Both were yet to qualify for the games before the lockdown was imposed. However, there were good chances for them. Sania made an incredible comeback after a maternity break. Mirza won the Hobart International title which was also her first tournament since her return to professional tennis. WTA gives a special ranking to athletes returning from a maternity break puts Sania Mirza into world number 9 currently. With this, she should already have qualified in the Women’s doubles event for the games and would have an option to choose a partner. If she does wish to play at the Tokyo Olympics, the Indian tennis star will likely partner Ankita Raina, whose current doubles rank of 122, combined with Sania Mirza’s protected ranking, should be good enough to play at the marquee event. Sania has a very realistic chance when it comes to the mixed event but women's doubles are not something one should have hopes high on, but Olympic is all about peaking at the right moment as Monica Puig won the gold in Rio 2016.

Chances of winning a medal - 40%

Other events on day 6 and possible contenders:


Men pool A: India vs Argentina


Men Individual RD 64/RD32: Atanu Das, Taundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav

Women Individual RD 64/RD32: Deepika Kumari /Bombayala Devi/Komalika Bari


Men Singles RD16: Sai Praneeth

Women Singles RD16: PV Sindhu

Men Doubles QF: Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy/Chirag Shetty


Women's Fly (48-51kg) RD16: Mary Kom

Men's Middle (69-75kg) RD16: Ashish Kumar


Men's Individual Stroke Play RD 1: Rashid Khan, Udayan Mane

Also read: Not the Olympics | Day 4: A possible gold rush for Indian shooters

Also read: Not the Olympics | Day 5: Sania Mirza in quarterfinals actions

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