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Asian Games Table Tennis: Manika-Sathiyan pair goes down fighting

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New Delhi: The much-anticipated pre-quarterfinal showdown between the Indian duo of G. Sathiyan and Manika Batra and Clarence Zhe Chew and Jian Zeng of Singapore ended as a whimper as the World No. 8 pair will return home without a medal from the Asian Games this time.

Sathiyan and Manika flattered to deceive when they lost 2-3 (11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 3-11) to the World No. 28 pair from Singapore after leading 2-0. The third game changed the script, as after the deuce, the Singaporeans fought well and hard to beat the Indians. In the fourth, the Indian pair squandered the opportunity and let their opponents gain the upper hand, especially the left-handed Clarence doing the most damage. They finished in style in the decisive fifth to enter the quarters, and the Indians never recovered from the shock.

Harmeet Desai and Sreeja Akula, the second pair, had little chance against Thailand’s Sanguansin Parakpoom and Parannang Orawan as another right-left combination, particularly Orawan, thumped the Indians in straight games.

Of the four Indians in the singles fray, Sathiyan, A. Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra moved into the pre-quarterfinals after winning their R-32 matches against lesser rivals. But Sreeja Akula lost to her North Korean opponent, Pyon Songgyong, 6-11, 4-11, 13-15, 9-11.

In the men’s doubles, both Indian pairs—G. Sathiyan-Sharath Kamal and Manush Shah-Manav Thakkar—moved into the pre-quarters, posting easy triumphs, as did the women’s doubles duos of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee and Diya Chitale and Sreeja Akula.

Results:

Men’s Singles R-32: G Sathiyan bt Lafi Turki Almutairi (KSA) 11-5, 11-6, 11-9, 11-2; A. Sharath Kamal bt Shaffan Mohammed Ismail (MDV) 11-9, 11-2, 11-7, 11-7.

Women’s Singles R-32: Manika Batra bt Nabita Shreshta (NEP) 11-5, 11-4, 11-3, 11-2; Sreeja Akula lost to Songgyong Pyon (PRK) 6-11, 4-11, 13-15, 9-11.

Men’s Doubles R-32: Manush Shah/Manav Thakkar bt Munsif Moosa Ahmed/Shaffan Mohammed Ismail (MDV) 11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2; Sharath Kamal/G. Sathiyan bt Ser-Od Ganghukyag/Manlaijargal Munkh-Ochir (MGL) 11-5, 11-3, 11-3.

Women’s Doubles R-32: Sreeja Akula/Diya Chitale bt Ngoc Tran Mai/NgaNguyen Thi (VIE) 11-8, 15-13, 11-6; Sutirtha Mukherjee/Ayhika Mukherjee bt Zauresh Akasheva/Anastassiya Lavrova (KAZ) 11-7, 11-4, 11-7.

Mixed Doubles R-16: G. Sathiyan/Manika Batra lost to Clarence Zhe Chew/Jian Zeng (SGP) 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 3-11; Harmeet Desai/Sreeja Akula lost to Parakpoom Sanguansin/Orawan Parannang (THA) 4-11, 6-11, 10-12.

–TTFI

 

 

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