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Saudi Smash 2024: Manika Batra knocked out after quarter-final loss against Japan's Hina Hayata

Published at :May 9, 2024 at 8:21 PM
Modified at :May 24, 2024 at 10:52 AM
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(Courtesy : @manikabatra_TT/X)

Shashank Tripathi

Manika Batra defeated China’s Wang Manyu in the round of 32.

Indian paddler Manika Batra bowed out from the Saudi Smash 2024 after she suffered a disappointing 4-1 loss against Japan’s Hina Hayata in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Manika Batra was the last remaining Indian candidate in the Saudi Smash 2024 after all the other Indian paddlers were eliminated from the tournament’s initial stages.

Against Japan’s Hina Hayata, Batra looked strong in the starting minutes as she captured the first game 7-11. However, the World No. #5 quickly resisted the pressure, as she won the next four games to seal the victory (7-11, 11-6, 11-4, 13-11, 11-2.

The Indian star tried fighting back against Hayata, but her errors emerged as the reason behind her loss. However, Batra still had a memorable campaign as she took down the likes of Germany’s Nina Mittelham (R16) and China’s Wang Manyu (R32).

Manika Batra’s win over World No. #2 Wang Manyu was a memorable milestone in Indian table tennis, as China has always been the superpower in the game’s history. In Olympic history, China has won gold in 32 events out of 37 contested until this date.

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Talking about the other Indian players in the main draw of the 2024 Saudi Smash, Sreeja Akula was eliminated in the first round of the women’s singles after losing against Portugal’s Jeini Shao. In men’s singles, Sharath Kamal also bowed out of the first round.

Manush Shah and Harmeet Desai also failed to secure a spot in the last eight after being eliminated by the pair of Chen Baldwin and Lubomir Pistej in the round of 16. Similarly, Asian Games bronze medallists Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee lost to Miyu Nagasaki and Kim Nayeong in the round of 16 match.

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