Table tennis superstars Manika Batra, Achanta Sharath Kamal, and G. Sathiyan of India trounced their opponents to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Thursday. Before defeating Mohammed Shaffan Ismail, a Maldivian, Sharath, a team bronze medalist at the 2018 Asian Games, never gave him a chance. He won 11-9, 11-2, 11-7, and 11-7.
Sathiyan, who had previously won a bronze medal in the team competition at the Jakarta Games 2018, also dominated Saudi Arabia’s Turki Lafi Almutairi, winning 11-5, 11-6, 11-9, and 11-2.
In the third set, the Saudi player attempted to rally, getting closer to the Indian at 9-7, but Sathiyan’s expertise won out at the vital moment.
In the fourth game, Sathiyan easily defeated his opponent while only giving up two points.
Manika, a mixed doubles bronze medalist at the Jakarta Asian Games and a gold medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, defeated Nepal’s Nabita Shresthta 4-0 (11-5, 11-4, 11-3, 11-2) in under 20 minutes to advance to a match against Thailand’s Suthasini Sawettabut.
However, Sreeja Akula had to exit the tournament after suffering a humiliating 0-4 loss against Songgyong Pyon of North Korea (6-11, 4-11, 13-15, 9-11).
In the women’s doubles, India performed better. Ngoc Tran Mai and Nga Nguyen Thi from Vietnam lost to Sreeja and Diya Chitale 3-0 (11-8, 15-13, 11-6).
After beating Kazakhstan 3-0, Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee secured their spot in the pre-quarterfinals.
Anastassiya Lavrova and Zauresh Akasheva were defeated by Sutirtha and Ayhika 11-7, 11-4, and 11-7.
Manav Vikash Thakkar and Manush Utpalbhai Shah of India won the men’s doubles match against Mohamed Shaffan Ismail and Moosa Munsif Ahmed of the Maldives 3-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-6, 11-2) to go to the round of 16.
In only 13 minutes, the Mangolian team of Ser-Od Gankhuyag and Manlaijargal Munkh-Ochir were defeated 3-0 (11-5, 11-3, 11-3) by Sathiyan and Sharath of India.
However, in a tight pre-quarterfinal match at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park, Singapore’s Zhe Yu Clarence Chew and Jian Zeng defeated India’s mixed pair Sathiyan and Manika 2-3 (11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 10-12, 3-11) because they were unable to manage their jitters at the crucial time.
The other mixed pair, Orawan Paranang and Phakpoom Sanguansin of Thailand, defeated Sreeja and Harmeet Desai 0-3 (4-11, 6-11, 10-12), forcing them to withdraw from the competition.