Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra exit mixed doubles table tennis in Tokyo

The Indian mixed doubles duo lost their opening match of Tokyo 2020 in straight games.

By Utathya Nag

India’s Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra bowed out of the Tokyo Olympics mixed doubles table tennis event after losing 4-0 (11-8, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4) to the Chinese Taipei team of Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-Ching in the Round of 16 on Saturday.

Playing on table 1 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gym, the Indian duo started well, racing to a 5-1 lead with both Manika Batra and Sharath Kamal extracting enough top spin from the ball to trouble Lin and Cheng.

However, the Chinese Taipei team, ranked No. 1 in ITTF mixed doubles rankings, recovered soon to take control of the rallies and won the first game 11-8.

Despite holding their own in the initial phases of the second game, Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra struggled with their returns under the Chinese Taipei team’s pressure and conceded the second game 11-6.

Lin and Cheng ensured they kept the rallies short and didn’t let the Indians settle in the match.

Manika Batra-Sharath Kamal had little joy in game three as well, with the Chinese Taipei players racing away with an 11-5 scoreline in quick time.

Battling for survival in the fourth game, the Indians offered little resistance as Lin and Cheng outclassed them 11-4 to wrap up the match in straight games. The contest lasted 27 minutes.


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