New Delhi: Manika Batra redeemed her position somewhat after a string of failures to keep a glimmer medal hope in the women’s singles when she beat Suthasini Sawettabut 4-2 (11-7, 6-11, 12-10, 11-13, 12-10, 11-6) in the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian Games at Hangzhou today.
World No. 36 Indian paddler will face World No. 4 Wang Yidi of China, with the winner entering the medal round.
After going through some harrowing moments in the team event, particularly against Suthasini, Manika came to terms in her singles to tame the Thai, who is just three places below her at No. 39. The match was in balance until the sixth game when Manika shifted gears after going 3-2 up and outwit her Thail opponent in what was a sweet revenge.
In a big surprise, Manush Shah and Manav Thakkar defeated Koen Yew En Pang and Issac Yong Quek of Singapore 3-11, 11-9, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8 to move into the quarterfinals of the men’s doubles, while the experienced duo of Sharath Kamal and G.Sathiyan lost their pre-quarterfinals to the second-seeded Chinese pair of Fan Zhendong and Wang Chuquim 5-11, 4-11, 7-11.
Manush and Manav will next face the top-seeded Korean pair of Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon, also ranked No. 1 duo in the world.
In the women’s doubles, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee combined well to thrash the Thai pair of Wanwisa Aueawiriyayothin and Jinnipa Sawettabut 11-8, 11-7, 11-4 to enter the quarterfinals. But they will face World No. 2 pair of Cheng Mang and Wang Yidi from China.
However, Sreeja Akula and Diya Chitale went down 3-11, 5-11, 8-11 in the other pre-quarterfinal match to Japan’s Miwa Harimoto and Miyuu Kihara, marking their exit at the pre-quarterfinal stages of the competition.
In men’s singles, Sharath Kamal battled in a late charge against Chinese Taipei’s Chihuahua-Yuan Chuang, ranked No. 28, but eventually lost 7-11, 10-12, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 11-6, 8-11 to end his campaign at the Games. But even before that, Sathiyan bowed out tamely, losing 3-11, 3-11, 6-11, 3-11 to Wang Chuquin. The World No. 2 Chinese proved too hot for the No. 107 ranked Indian paddler.