Mumbai, March 15
Manika Batra’s run at the World Singles Qualification Tournament, an Olympic qualification event in table tennis, came to an end after she suffered a 4-1 defeat to Monaco’s Xiaoxin Yang in the women’s singles knockout stage-I semi-final match in Doha on Monday.
Despite losing the first two games, world No. 63 Batra held her nerve and attempted a comeback by winning the third game. However, her relatively higher-ranked opponent Yang, world No. 44, didn’t let the momentum slip and wrapped up the tie 11-9, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, 11-9 in her favour.
Earlier in the quarter-finals played late on Sunday, Batra had thrashed Uzbekistan’s Rimma Gufranova 12-10, 11-3, 11-6, 11-4 while Sutirtha Mukherjee lost against Russian Polina Mikhailova 12-10, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 5-11 in a thrilling match.
Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan also exited after suffering losses in their respective men’s singles second round matches on Sunday.
The Indian paddlers will now shift their focus to the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament, which is scheduled from March 18-20 in Doha. Sharath and Sathiyan will be in action in the men’s singles while Batra and Mukherjee will play in the women’s singles. In the mixed doubles category Sharath and Batra will look to seal Olympic berths.