Table Tennis: Sharath and Manika enter mixed doubles final at Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament
New Delhi, March 19, 2021
Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra combined well to oust Singapore’s Koen Pang Yew En and Lin Ye 4-2 to enter the mixed-doubles final at the Asia Olympic Qualification Tournament in Doha on Friday.
The World No. 19 Indian pair has now set up the final clash against World No. 8 Korean pair of Sang-Su Lee and Jihee Jeon on Saturday and is now a win away from qualifying for the Olympics.
Earlier, all the four Indian paddlers -- Sharath, Manika, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Sutirtha Mukherjee -- qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.
While Sathiyan and Sutirtha emerged winners in their respective categories of the South Asian Group, Sharath and Manika sealed Tokyo berths by virtue of being the highest-ranked second-placed players.
Having already secured the singles berths on Thursday and now aiming for double qualification, Sharath and Manika faced a tough challenge in the initial part of the match as the scores were levelled at 2-2 after the fourth game.
However, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist pair managed to hold an edge over the opponents and bagged two successive games to complete a 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11 victory in 50 minutes.
Meanwhile the Korean duo Lee and Jeon entered the final with a 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8 victory against Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabut.