Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula qualify for World Table Tennis Championships Finals

Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula qualify for World Table Tennis Championships Finals

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Indians are continuing their fine display at the Asian WTTC Continental Stage 2023, as many paddlers managed to progress into the next round, and also qualified for the Durban World Table Tennis Championships (WTTC) Finals in May. The list includes Sreeja Akila, Sharath Kamal, and Manika Batra.

Sreeja beat world No. 21 Chen Szu-Yu of Chinese Taipei 4-3 (11-2, 5-11, 2-11, 5-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-8) to qualify for the WTTC Finals, while Sharath Kamal got the better of Iran's Ahmadian Amin 13-11, 11-3, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6. Manika defeated Zhu Chengzhu of Hong Kong 13-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-8 in the pre-quarterfinals to enter the showpiece event.

Apart from that, the mixed doubles team of Manika and G. Sathiyan also sealed their place in the mixed doubles event of the WTTC Finals after they beat Hiroto Shinozuka and Miyuu of Japan 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, 5-11, 11-7 in the pre-quarters. Sathiyan and Sharath made it to the tournament when they won against Qatar's Mohammed Abdulwahab and Khalil Al-Mohannandi 11-5, 11-0, 11-9, 11-8 in the men's doubles match.

However, Sathiyan missed out on the direct qualification in the singles, but can still make it to the WTTC Finals on the basis of his rankings. Lastly, the women's doubles pair of Reeth Rishya and Sreeja beat Singapore's Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru 11-6, 12-10, 13-11, 11-7 to get into the prestigious tournament. The team of Manika and Archana also have a chance of making it, on the basis of their current ranking.

As per the WTTC Finals format, the Asian WTTC Continental Stage 2023 tournament offers 25 slots in men's singles, 28 in women's singles, 14 berths in men's doubles, 12 in women's doubles, and eight in mixed doubles. However, only four men and women entries per country are allowed in the WTTC Finals. In singles, players who make it to the Round of 16 qualify directly, while the remaining slots are filled via the positions knockout matches. In doubles, however, only those who reach the quarter-finals qualify, while the rest qualify through the other knockout rounds.

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