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CWG 2018: Manika Batra strikes gold

India’s Manika Batra in action during the women’s singles gold medal table tennis match at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

It has been an incredible journey for the Indian paddlers through the last ten days here— gold in the team events being the first step. On Saturday, Manika Batra took it to a higher level with a superb show in the women’s singles, winning India’s first-ever gold medal in that event in the Commonwealth Games.

The win also put an end to the Singaporean supremacy in the discipline as Manika choked out Mengyu Yu in straight sets, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7, and with utmost ease. The Indian seemed to be somewhat in a hurry, as she hardly gave any room for her rival to bring out her range of shots from her arsenal. Megyu was left stunned as Manika carried on with her attacking game, moving away when the offence got going but returning quickly enough to put the ball wide off the Singaporean with a mix of smashes and well-timed drop shots.

Manika, though exhausted after a long day, was dazed by her own accomplishment before she regained her composure. “The experience here has been a quite noteworthy, though it will take some time to sink in that I am now the Commonwealth Games champion,” she said. “I have been working hard for this day. It was a tough semifinal against Tianwei Feng, the World No. 4. But it was an easy final. I am feeling very happy and am proud of my country.”

Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekhar too had the opportunity to make it big, but lost to England’s Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford in the men’s doubles final. It was a close match — the Indians fought their way back into the match after losing the first set. It seemed only a matter of time before another great feat, but they were unable to keep the momentum going and eventually lost 6-11, 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 6-11.

Earlier in the day, Sharath found his journey into the men’s singles final waylaid by Nigerian Aruna Quadri, who hardly gave anything away in his 12-10, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7 win. Sharath now has the chance to get a bronze medal on Sunday.

Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shankar Shetty won the men’s doubles bronze to complete a good outing by shutting out Singapore”s Pang En Koen Yew and Ethan Po Shao Feng 11-5, 11-6, 12-10.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 12:33:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/cwg-2018-manika-batra-wins-historic-singles-gold-in-table-tennis/article23539017.ece

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