Tokyo Olympics: Manika Batra roars into Round of 32; G Sathiyan suffers shock exit

Manika Batra defeats Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska.

Tokyo: India’s Manika Batra continued her brilliant form sailing into the Round of 32 a hard-fought 4-3 victory against Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska in the women’s singles event at the Tokyo Olympics. Batra won 4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7 and will next face Austrian Sofia Polcanova.

Earlier, star Indian paddler G Sathiyan suffered a shock 3-4 (7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12, 6-11) upset at the hands of Lam Siu Hang of Hong Kong in the men’s singles Round of 32 clash on Sunday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium hall.

The Ukrainian took Batra by surprise when she went ahead 2-0 leaving the Indian with no chance to open her arms. The Indian, who choose not to have the chief coach Soumyadeep Roy by courtside, roared back into the game, winning the next two.

After losing the fifth game, Batra once again made a comeback in the sixth to force the tie into the decider. Under pressure, Pesotska committed some unforced errors in the final game allowing Batra to clinch the fixture.

After losing the first set, Sathiyan roared back into the match, winning the next three. It was a complete domination from the World No.37 Sathiyan as he never let the opponent free his arms and looked like the Indian will seal the game in the fifth encounter.

But the story was not meant to be the same. Siu Hang made a remarkable comeback to win the next two games forcing the tie into a decider. Brimming with confidence, the Hong Kong shuttler dominated the final game to move into the Round of 16.

Earlier, on Saturday, India’s mixed doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Batra bowed out of the tournament losing in the pre-quarterfinals. Sharath Kamal is yet to play his first men’s singles match in the competition.


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