Sharath and Manika enter mixed doubles final, one win away from Olympic berthMarch 20, 2021
The star Indian pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra made their way into the mixed doubles final of the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament after defeating Singapore’s Koen Pang Yew En and Lin Ye 4-2 here on Friday.
The world no 19 Indian pair has set up a final clash against world no 8 Korean duo of Sang-Su Lee and Jihee Jneon on Saturday and is now a win away from qualifying for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Having already secured the singles berths on Thursday and aiming for a double qualification, Sharath and Manika faced a tough challenge in the initial part of the match as the scores were levelled at 2-2 after the fourth game.
However, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist pair managed to hold an edge over their opponent and bagged two successive games to complete a 12-10 9-11 11-5 5-11 11-8 13-11 victory in 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Korean duo of Lee and Jeon entered the final with a 4-11 11-7 11-4 5-11 11-8 11-8 victory against Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabut.
Earlier on Thursday, all the four Indian paddlers Sharath, Manika, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Sutirtha Mukherjee earned themselves singles qualification berths at the Tokyo Olympics.
While Sathiyan and Sutirtha emerged winners in their respective categories of the South Asian Group, Sharath and Manika sealed Tokyo berths by virtue of being the highest-ranked second-placed players.