File photo of Manika Batra© AFP
Star paddler Manika Batra’s dream run in the Asian Cup Table Tennis tournament ended as she went down fighting against fourth seed Mima Ito of Japan on Saturday. The unseeded Manika, who became the first Indian to reach the semi-finals of the continental tournament, lost 8-11 11-7 7-11 6-11 11-8 7-11 (2-4) to the world No.5 Japanese paddler. World No. 44 Manika had earlier defeated world No. 23 Chen Szu-Yu of Chinese Taipei 4-3 in the quarterfinals at the Hua Mak Indoor Stadium.
Manika has already ensured the best finish by an Indian in the 39-year-old history of the Asian Cup after Achanta Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan had finished sixth in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
The ace Indian woman paddler had earlier shocked world No. 7 Chen Xingtong of China in a round of 16 match on Thursday.
The USD 200,000 event features the top 16 players in the men’s and women’s singles from the continent based on world rankings and qualifications.
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