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Asian Cup table tennis | Manika Batra won a historic bronze

Manik Batra will be seen at the Asian Cup table tennis championship in Bangkok. File | Photo Credit: Thananuwat Srirasanth

Barely hours after losing her semifinal match to Japan’s second seed Mima Ito at the Asian Cup table tennis tournament in Bangkok on November 19, 2022, Manika Batra produced a dazzling performance to overcome another Japanese Hina Hayata , World No.6 and the third seed, (4-2) 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 11-2 in the play-off match for third place and took historic bronze medal.

A big shot-maker with a big backlift, the left-handed Hayata is a paddler capable of making wins from difficult positions and angles. Strategically, Manika further nullified this by twiddling her racket to make the rest of her long pimple rubber. Hayata struggled to turn around. But to reduce the Indian performance to ‘funny’ rubbers would be wrong. Manika did not let up in the attack. While trailing or when ahead, he stayed focused and continued his aggressive approach.

The best example comes in the fourth game against Hayata. At 6-10, Manika, ranked 44th in the world and not selected for the Asian Cup, produced back-to-back forehand winners to win the game at 12-10.

To defeat three world class players — Chen Xingtong (World No.7) in the pre-quarterfinals, Chen Szu-Yu (World No. 23) in the quarterfinals and Hayata (World No.6) today — is no easy task, and Manika proved the doomsayers wrong with a performance to be cherished for a long time.

Chandan Kumar

Author & Content Researcher for Entertainment & World Desk, reports on world cinema, web series and lifestyle. Like to explore trends in the film industry and build conversations about them. Also focused on discovering regional cinema and good storytelling above all! Official E-mail :- chandan.kumar06@brnews.co.in

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