Table Tennis World Championships: A 58-year-old stands between India and a historic medal
Manika Batra and Archana Kamath will have to take on a 58-year-old to assure India of a historic medal in Table Tennis World Championships.
The Indian women's doubles duo of Manika Batra and Archana Kamath became the first paddlers from the country to enter the quarterfinal of the World Table Tennis Championships Final since 2017 when they went past Hungary's Georgia Pota and Dora Madarasz 3-1 in the Round of 16.
Having registered two comfortable victories, the Batra-Kamath duo is now just one win away from becoming earning a podium finish in Huston. If they manage to do so, the duo will break India's 95-year-old drought for a medal in the Table Tennis World Championships.
But, standing between them and a possible historic medal is a 58-year-old paddler. Yes, Manika Batra and Archana Kamath will face a 58-year-old Ni Xialian in their quarterfinal encounter.
A Chinese origin paddler plying her trade for Luxembourg, Ni Xialian has been playing table tennis at the highest level years before either of Batra and Kamath were born.
Having represented China and having bagged multiple World Championships medals for them, Xialian switched to Luxembourg in 1991.
To put things into context, Manika Batra was born in 1995 while Archana Kamath was born at the turn of the century in 2000.
Ni Xialian has been a constant feature at the Olympics since the 2000 Sydney Games and created the record for being the oldest paddler to compete at the quadrennial event in the recently concluded Tokyo Games.
Ni Xialian will be seen paired up with the 29-year-old Sarah De Nutte when they take on Manika Batra and Archana Kamath later today.