Tokyo Olympics: Indian table tennis duo Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra had to defeat Korean pair Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee to book a mixed doubles spot. It will be Sharath’s fourth Olympic Games
Indian pair of Manika Batra and Achanta Sharath Kamal have qualified for the mixed doubles event of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. The World No. 19 Indian pair came from behind to stun Korean pair Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee 4-2 in the final clash at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers. Indian table tennis duo had made their way into the mixed doubles final at the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament after defeating Singapore’s Koen Pang Yew En and Lin Ye 4-2 in the last-4 clash in Doha on Friday.
Sharath and Manika faced a tough challenge in the initial part of the semi-final match as the scores were level at 2-2 after the fourth game. However, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist pair managed to hold an edge over the opponent and bagged two successive games to complete a 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11 victory in 50 minutes.
Earlier on Thursday, all the four Indian paddlers Sharath, Manika, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, and Sutirtha Mukherjee earned themselves singles qualification at the 2021 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.
It will be Sharath’s fourth Olympic Games. Sharath had thrashed Rameez 11-4, 11-1, 11-5, 11-4 in just 23 minutes and had made the cut based on his superior rankings.
Tokyo Olympics is scheduled from July 23-August 8 this year. The Games were scheduled to be held last year but got postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whereas, the Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5.