Table Tennis: Sutirtha Mukherjee beats Manika Batra to qualify for Tokyo Olympics
Sutirtha Mukherjee beats compatriot Manika Batra in Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament to qualify for Tokyo Olympics.
India's second-highest-ranked female table tennis player Sutirtha Mukherjee qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, after her 4-2 (7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4) win against her Indian compatriot top-ranked Manika Batra in the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament being held at Doha.
In the women's singles event, world No. 62 Manika Batra and world No. 95 Sutirtha Mukherjee were drawn together AOQT. And since Manika and Sutirtha were the only entrants in the South Asia group, one was assured of winning the qualification for Tokyo Olympics. This is going to be Sutirtha's first Olympic appearance.
Despite her defeat against Sutirtha, the Khel-Ratna Awardee Manika Batra will still have a good chance of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics because of her ranking.
Earlier in the day, Sharath Kamal, India's highest-ranked table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, after his 4-0 (11-4, 11-1, 11-5, 11-4) straight-games win against Pakistan's Rameez Muhammad
Even though Sharath lost a hard-fought first match 3-4 against fellow Indian Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, his win against the Pakistani Rameez has made sure that he has a safe passage to Tokyo due to his higher World Ranking.
This would be the fourth straight Olympic appearance for Sharath who has been competing at the quadrennial event since the 2004 Athens Games.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, on the other hand, will qualify for Tokyo if he beats Rameez Muhammad in his upcoming match on the basis of topping the South Asian pool at the Asian Olympic Qualification.
Sathiyan will take on Rameez later tonight. You can follow our live blog here.