World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2021: India finish empty-handed

Manika Batra, partnering Sathiyan Gnanasekaran in mixed doubles and Archana Kamath in women’s doubles, lost in the quarter-finals of both events.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by Getty Images

India’s campaign at the World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2021 in Houston, USA, ended on Saturday after the women’s and mixed doubles teams lost in the quarter-finals.

In mixed doubles, Tokyo Olympians Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran lost 3-1 (5-11, 2-11, 11-7, 9-11) to Japan’s Hina Hayata and Tomokazu Harimoto, the world No. 20 team, and bowed out in the quarter-finals.

The Indian duo beat China’s Wang Manyu and USA’s Kanak Jha and the Puerto Rican team of Adriana Diaz and Brian Afanador en route to the quarters.

Manika Batra and her women’s doubles partner Archana Kamath also bowed out of their event following a disappointing 3-0 (1-11, 6-11, 8-11) loss to Sarah de Nuette and Xia Lian Ni of Luxembourg in the final eight.

Manika Batra and Archana Kamath made it to the quarters with wins over Belgium’s Margo Degraef and Nathalie Marchetti and Hungary’s Dora Madarasz and Georgina Pota in the earlier rounds.

With losing semi-finalists getting bronze medals at the World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2021, both the Indian teams in action on Saturday were just one win away from confirming a podium finish at the US meet.

G Sathiyan was the most successful Indian singles player at the event, reaching the round of 32 in the men’s event.

India have won only two medals at the world table tennis championships, both at the inaugural edition in 1926.

“End of a dream run here in Houston which was certainly one of my best ever world championships so far,” Sathiyan Gnaneshkaran said on his Twitter page.

“Though it was disheartening not to make it after coming agonisingly close to a historic medal and also for missing out closely to break into top-16 in singles for the first time, nevertheless was certainly a terrific tournament and lots to learn from,” Sathiyan added.

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