Indians register solid singles wins at 2019 Asian TT Championships

Manika Batra, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee record comfortable victories in the opening round, while the Men’s team finish fifth. 

By Naveen Peter ·

After enduring a difficult time in the team event, the Indian women paddlers began their singles campaign on a winning note at the 2019 ITTF-ATTU Asian Table Tennis Championships on Wednesday.

In their opening-round matches, three of the five Indians registered comfortable wins at the GOR Among Rogo Stadium in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Manika Batra wants to wait and take precaution before resuming training  

Batra sparkles

Manika Batra kick-started India’s run with a fine 3-0 win over Batsaikhan Khongorzul of Mongolia. The match which lasted for about 15 minutes saw the top-ranked Indian barely give her opponent any chance to have her say as she pocketed the tie 11-8, 11-4, 11-4.

Later, though Ayhika Mukherjee dropped a game in her match-up against Philippines’ Angelou Joyce Laude, the Indian had enough in her reserves to get past the opening hurdle without much trouble. She won the match 11-5, 11-7, 6-11, 11-6.

Sutirtha Mukherjee too was forced to lose a game before wrapping up her first-round match against Bolor-Erdene Batmunkh of Mongolia. The Indian registered an 11-3, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7 win to move ahead in the competition.

Ending on a high

Meanwhile, the Indian men’s team came up with a fine display to beat Hong Kong in their 5/6th classification game in the team event.

Leading the charge for the Indians was their top-ranked player in the singles category, Sathiyan Gnanasekaran who was in fine form to record a commanding win over his opponent on Wednesday.

Sathiyan Gnanasekaran is ranked 31st in the world currently

Up against Kwan Man Ho, even though the 26-year-old lost a game, he barely lost any control of the match as he wrapped up the tie 11-5, 11-13, 11-7, 14-12.

While Anthony Amalraj came from a game down to beat Ng Pak Nam 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7, Sharath Kamal had to fight till the very end to seal his win over Lam Siu Hang.

In what was a topsy-turvy encounter, the Indian began by dropping the opening game, only to come back and draw level with an 11-6 win in the second. Siu Hang was in no mood to let the tie go easily as he took the third 11-7. But Kamal seemed to reserve his best for the last and went on to win the following two games and the match 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7.

The fifth-place finish at the 2019 event also means the Indian men’s team will begin their 2021 Asian Championships from the quarterfinals stage in the Champion Division.