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2022 Asian Table Tennis Cup: Manika Batra becomes the primary Indian woman to win a medal at a continental competition

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2022 Asian Table Tennis Cup: Manika Batra becomes the first Indian woman to win a medal at a continental competition

Indian table tennis player Manika Batra defeated world No. 6 Hina Hayata of Japan in Asian Cup 2022 The women’s singles bronze medal match in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday.

It was India’s third medal at the continental meet. Chetan Baboor, with silver in 1997 and bronze in 2000, was the only Indian table tennis player to have previously won a medal at the Asian Cup.

The triumph also made Manika Batra the first Indian woman to win a medal in the Asian Cup table tennis tournament.

Competing at the indoor Huamark Stadium, India’s top 44 table tennis player Manika Batra defeated Hina Hayata, the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships bronze medalist, 4-2 (11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 11-2) in the medal match.

Manika Batra was leading 2-1, but Hayata seemed poised to level the match with a 10-6 lead in game four. Despite this, Manika Batra, with powerful forehand winners, racked up another six points and turned the momentum in her favour.

Earlier in the day, Manika Batra lost to Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Mima Ito of Japan in the semi-finals. The world’s No. 5 Japanese defeated Manika Batra 4-2 (8:11, 11-7, 7:11, 6:11, 11-8, 7:11) after a tight match.

Earlier in the tournament, Manika Batra defeated World No. 23 Chen Szu Yu of China’s Taipei in a thrilling quarter-final to become the first Indian to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. She also caused a major stir in the first round with world No. 7 Chen Xingtong of China.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, the highest ranked Indian men’s singles player ranked 39th in the world, and India’s national champion Sharath Kamal, ranked 44th, were eliminated in the first round of men’s singles.

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