Indian table tennis player Manika Batra became the first Indian to reach the semi-finals in Asian Cup after defeating Chen Szu Yu of Chinese Taipei in a thrilling women’s final eight match on Friday.
Competing at the Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, ranked No. 44 in the world, Manika Batra beat No. 23 Chen Szu Yu, beating her 4-3 (6-11, 11-6, 11-5, 11-7, 8 -11, 9-11, 11-9).
Manika Batra started the quarterfinals from behind after losing their opening match but picked up in the next three to lead 3-1. However, Chen Shu Yu tied after two intense games and forced a tiebreaker.
The Indian fought hard in game seven to progress to the last four and accomplished a historic feat.
Former men’s singles player Chetan Baboor is the only Indian table tennis player to have won a medal at the Asian Cup. In 1997 he won silver and in 2000 bronze.
Manika Batra stunned China’s world No. 7 Chen Xingtong in the previous round.
In the semi-finals, she will face Mima Ito of Japan, who won bronze in women’s singles and gold in mixed doubles at Tokyo 2020. The current world No. 5 also has a silver and bronze team at the Olympics.
In men’s singles, world No. 39 Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Indian National Champion Sharath Kamal, ranked No. 44, were eliminated in the first round.