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3 Indian pairs remain 2 wins away from winning medal at Table Tennis World Championships
Indian paddlers have reached the pre-quarterfinals of the World Table Tennis Championships in the mixed doubles and women's doubles category.
Three Indian pairs of paddlers remain just two wins away from earning a medal at the ongoing 2021 Table Tennis World Championships Final in Houston, USA.
The Indian mixed doubles pairs of Manika Batra-Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Sharath Kamal Achanta-Archana Kamath have reached the pre-quarterfinals (Round of 16). On the other hand, the women's doubles pair of Manika and Archana stormed into the pre-quarterfinals, thrashing Nathalie Marchetti and Margo Degraef of Belgium by 3-0.
The ninth seed Manika-Sathiyan pair will face the US-China transnational pair of Kanak Jha and Manyu Wang. China and the USA have joined forces at the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships Finals with two pairs formed of both American and Chinese players entering the Mixed Doubles competition, marking the 50th anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy. Representing the US, Jha is an American table tennis player of Indian origin. He is a two-time Olympian and one of the best male players in the United States. The Indian pair would still face steep competition, and Jha and Wang, who are ranked 45th in the tournament.
The Archana-Sharath duo, ranked 22nd will be competing against the second-seeded Jia Nan Yuan and Emmanuel Lebesson of France. It would be a tough ask for the Indian pair to beat the French duo, who emerged as champions in the Mixed Doubles event of WTT Contender Tunis, held in Tunisia earlier this month.
In the women's doubles category, the tenth seeded pair of Archana and Manika will face Hungarian Georgina Pota and Dora Madarasz, ranked 20th in the world.
The matches, which will begin after 10.30 PM IST on Friday, could see the Indian pairs progressing to the quarters and if they could win the quarterfinals, they wil be assured of a medal on reaching the semis stage. India last won an individual medal when S. R. G. Suppiah won the singles bronze medal in the first edition of the London Worlds in 1926. Suppiah reached the semifinals losing to Zoltan Mechlovits of Hungary.