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Table Tennis

Singapore Smash: Sharath, Ayhik-Sutirtha win as rest of Indians make early exits

Manika, Sreeja, and Sutirtha all exit in the Round of 64. Achanta Sharath Kamal progressed to the round of 32 in men's singles, while Sutirtha and Ayhika advanced to the round of 16 in women's doubles.

Singapore Smash: Sharath, Ayhik-Sutirtha win as rest of Indians make early exits

Ayhika Mukherjee in action at the Asian Table Tennis Championships in Korea. (Photo credit: ayhika.m/Instagram) 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 March 2024 5:42 PM GMT

Much was spoken about the Indian table tennis contingent heading into the Singapore Smash 2024 after their positive outings at the ITTF World Table Tennis Championship that enabled India to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Seasoned player Achanta Sharath Kamal advanced to the Round of 32 defeating Chilean Nicholas Burgos 3-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-6) and is set to face Daro Jorgic of Slovenia on 13th March at 12:15 pm, IST.

Similarly, the Mukherjee sisters, Sutirtha and Ayhika booked a place in the round of 16 defeating the Japanese pair Miu Hirano and Miwa Harimoto in a closely fought match that ended 3-2 (11-8, 5-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-9) in favour of the Indians. They will now face Adina Diaconu and Maria Xiao on 13th March at 11:40 am, IST.

But expectations were subverted due to multiple first-match exits for the remaining Indian players. This was particularly exemplified in the women's singles category where all three Indians competing in the main draw lost in the Round of 64.

Manika Batra's dry run of games continued as she lost 3-0 (4-11, 7-11, 2-11) against China's Wang Yidi. While she admittedly is keeping one eye on the Paris Olympics, she must be disappointed with an early exit and would be raring to get back into her groove in the upcoming tournaments and matches.

Sreeja Akula also lost to China's Wang Manyu in a much more closely fought encounter, which ended 3-2 (6-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 8-11) in favour of the Chinese. Sutirtha too lost 3-2 to Monaco's Xiaoxin Yang with scores of 4-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 10-12 respectively.

The mixed doubles category proved fruitless too as the Indian duo Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost to the Brazilian pair Vitor Ishiy and Bruna Takahasi by a set as the scoreline read 2-3 (8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11).

Later in the evening, Men's doubles duo Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah lost out to Japan's Shunsuke Togami & Hiroto Shinozuka with a scoreline of 3-0 (7-11, 4-11, 8-11).

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