Asian Games 2023: Manika Batra scripts history as first Indian to reach table tennis singles quarterfinals

Manika Batra scripts history at Asian Games, Eyes medal in table tennis quarterfinals

In a historic feat, Manika Batra has etched her name in the annals of Indian table tennis by securing a spot in the quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition at the ongoing Asian Games. On Friday, Batra displayed nerves of steel as she triumphed over Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut in a thrilling round of 16 encounters, emerging victorious with a scoreline of 4-2 (11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-13, 12-10, 11-6). With the match evenly poised at 2-2 after the first four sets, Batra showcased her mettle by clinching the next two sets, securing her historic berth in the quarterfinals.

This remarkable achievement also makes Manika Batra the first Indian singles player to reach the quarterfinal stage in table tennis at the Asian Games. Her next challenge awaits in the form of Wang Yidi, as Batra vies for a place in the semifinals and the assurance of a coveted medal.

In contrast, the Indian men’s team witnessed a mixed bag of results in their round of 16 matches. The seasoned pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran faced a formidable challenge from China’s Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuqin, succumbing to a 0-3 defeat (5-11, 4-11, 7-11). On the other hand, the duo of Manush Utpalbhai Shah and Manav Vikash Thakkar displayed remarkable resilience to secure a hard-fought 3-2 victory (3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8) against Singapore’s Yew En Koen Pang and Izaac Quek Yong. Their next test will be against top-seeded Woojin Jang and Jonghoon Lim in the quarterfinals.

The Indian table tennis contingent, led by the experienced duo of Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra, commenced their campaign in Hangzhou on September 22. The table tennis events are set to culminate on October 2, promising more thrilling battles and potential medal triumphs for India.

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