India’s top-ranked women’s Table Tennis player Manika Batra crashed out of the World Singles Olympic Qualification event after a loss to Monaco’s Xiaoxin Yang in the singles knockout stage-I semi-final in Doha. Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan had already made the exit last Sunday.
After making early exits in the recently concluded World Table Tennis Contender, in Doha, the Indian paddlers were looking aiming for improved performance at the World Singles Olympic Qualification event. Even though Manika Batra had been impressive in opening rounds, she finally fell prey to Monaco’s Xiaoxin Yang in the knock-out stage-I semi-final, in Doha.
Batra lost the first two games against world no. 44 Yang, but she steadily recovered in the third game, but the effort was wasted as the Indian lost the third and fourth game to bow out of the tournament. She had earlier defeated Uzbekistan’s Rimma Gufranova in the quarter-finals with scores of 12-10, 11-3, 11-6, 11-4.
The other Indian in the event, Sutirtha Mukherjee lost to Russia’s Polina Mikhailova in a 6-game cliff-hanger with the final scores reading 12-10, 7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 10-12, 5-11. Meanwhile, in the men’s singles event, Indian legend Sharath Kamal and Gnansekaran Sathiyan were eliminated in their respective second-round matches, last Sunday.