Asian Table Tennis Championships: Manav Thakkar, Archana Kamath progress in mixed doubles

Harmeet Desai and Sreeja Akula, the other Indian mixed doubles pair in the tournament, bowed out in the round of 32.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by Robertus Pudyanto/ Getty Images

India’s Manav Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath entered the mixed doubles round of 16 at the Asian Table Tennis Championships 2021 in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.

Manav Thakkar and Archana Girish Kamath eased past the Mongolian pair of Ser-Od Gankhuyag and Undram Munkhbat 3-1 (11-6, 11-3, 5-11, 11-4) in under 18 minutes in their mixed doubles round of 32 match. The Indian pair got a first round bye.

Thakkar and Kamath will be up against the Kazakhstan pair of Anastassiya Lavrova and Kirill Gerassimenko in the round of 16 on Friday.

Harmeet Desai and Sreeja Akula, meanwhile, started their campaign from the round of 64.

The duo swept through Bangladesh’s Sadia Rahman Mou and Ramhimlian Bawm 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-3) to set up a round of 32 clash against Hong Kong’s Doo Hoi Kem and Wong Chun-ting.

Up against a team with two world championships mixed doubles bronze medals to their name, Desai and Akula put up a stiff challenge but eventually faltered 3-1 (7-11, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11) to bow out.

Indian women’s team gunning for fifth spot

Meanwhile, the Indian women’s team set up a match against Thailand for a fifth-placed finish after beating Chinese Taipei 3-1.

After their quest for a medal was cut short by Japan in the quarter-finals, the Indian women faced Chinese Taipei in their first step to secure the best possible finish in the 5-8 bracket.

Though Tokyo Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee, the senior-most member of the team, was beaten 3-1 (11-4, 12-14, 5-11, 4-11) by Liu Hsing-Yin, the Indian redeemed herself with a 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-5) victory over Cheng Hsien-Tzu.

With Archana Girish Kamath and Sreeja Akula also winning their matches, the match was settled without the need for a fifth match.

The Indian men’s team, led by Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, have already entered the semi-finals, assuring India their maiden medal in the competition. They will be in action on Friday.