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WTT Contender Muscat 2022: Manika Batra makes quarters; Kamath-Thakkar in mixed doubles final

Two Indian pairs are in the women’s doubles semi-finals. Indian table tennis players confirmed at least three medals following Thursday’s results.

On an eventful day for Indian table tennis players at the  WTT Contender Muscat 2022 on Thursday, Manika Batra progressed to the women’s singles quarter-finals while Archana Kamath and Manav Thakkar made the mixed doubles final.

Manika Batra upset Romania’s Bernadette Szocs, the world No. 23, 3-0 (11-3, 13-11, 11-8) in the round of 16 of women’s singles. The Indian will face China’s Kuai Man next.

Archana Kamath, however, fell in the same stage of the women’s singles event following a 3-0 (11-9, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9) loss to Tokyo Olympian Xiaoxin Yang of Monaco.

Kamath, however, had a good run in mixed doubles with partner Manav Thakkar at the Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex in Oman on Thursday.

Kamath-Thakkar beat Brazil’s Vitor Ishiy and Bruna Takahashi 3-2 (11-6, 11-7, 8-11, 13-11, 11-8) in the quarter-finals before getting the better of Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Leila Imre in the semis.

Ecseki and Imre, who had knocked out India’s top-rated pair of G Sathiyan and Manika Batra in the quarters, lost 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-5) against Kamath and Thakkar.

There were good results for Indian players in women’s doubles as well.

Tokyo Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee and partner Ayhika Mukherjee, who upset the tournament top seeds on Wednesday, received a walkover against the Czech Republic team of Zdena Blaskova and Katerina Tomanovska in the quarter-finals.

In the semis, the Mukherjees will be up against fellow Indians Sreeja Akula and Selena Selvakumar, who accounted for Singaporean duo Goi Rui Xuan and Wong Xin Ru 3-1 (13-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-7) in the quarters.

Thursday’s results guarantee India at least three medals at the Muscat meet – a gold or silver in mixed doubles and a bronze and at least a silver in women’s doubles. Losing semi-finalists at WTT meets get bronze medals.

Manika Batra can add to the tally if she progresses in singles.

In men’s doubles, though, India’s campaign ended with a loss to Chinese Taipei’s Peng Wang-Wei and Chuang Chih-Yuan in the quarter-finals.

By Utathya Nag

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