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WTT Contender Muscat 2022: Archana Kamath-Manav Thakkar win mixed doubles silver; Manika Batra ousted

Sutirtha and Ayhika Mukherjee made the women’s doubles finals. Indian table tennis players have already secured three medals at Oman.

Indian table tennis players Archana Kamath and Manav Thakkar settled for the mixed doubles silver medal at the WTT Contender Muscat 2022 on Friday after losing in the final against China’s Zhang Rui and Kuai Man.

Archana Kamath and Manav Thakkar had confirmed their spot in the mixed doubles final on Thursday after beating Hungary’s Nandor Ecseki and Leila Imre in the semis.

On Friday, the Indian table tennis pair discovered their opponents for the gold medal clash. Chinese pair Wang Chuqin and Chen Xingtong, who beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng I-Ching, a mixed doubles bronze medallist, and her partner Li Hsin-Yu in the semis, joined the Indians in the title decider.

Wang Chuqin is one half of the mixed doubles champions from the world table tennis championships 2021 while Chen Xingtong is a former Asian championships gold medal winner.

Kamath and Thakkar’s impressive run came to an end in the final after a 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 11-6) loss to the Chinese team. The Indians, however, secured silver.

In women’s singles, Manika Batra bowed out from the women’s singles quarter-finals following a 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-3) loss to China’s Kuai Man in the women’s singles quarter-finals.

Manika Batra, the world No. 49, was the last remaining Indian singles table tennis player at the Muscat meet after Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, India’s top-ranked men’s singles player, and the others in fray had bowed out in the earlier rounds.

Manika Batra’s fellow Tokyo Olympian Sutirtha Mukherjee and her partner Ayhika Mukherjee, however, booked their place in the final of women’s doubles at the Sultan Qaboos Sport Complex in Oman.

On Friday, Sutirtha and Ayhika beat Indian compatriots Sreeja Akula and Selena Selvakumar 3-0 (11-4, 11-6, 12-10) in the women’s doubles semi-finals to set up a gold medal clash against China’s Zhang Rui and Kuai Man.

The Mukherjees had earlier upset top seeds Adriana and Melanie Diaz in the first round of the main draw.

While Sutirtha and Ayhika will vie for the gold on Saturday, Akula and Selvakumar won a bronze medal courtesy of reaching the semi-finals.

By Utathya Nag

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