India’s legendary female table tennis player Manika Batra has faced defeat in the semi-finals of the Asian Cup 2022 table tennis tournament after creating history. In the women’s singles semi-finals played on Saturday, Japan’s fourth seed Mima Ito broke Manika’s dream of reaching the final. Although now she will play for the bronze medal.
Earlier, Manika Batra became the first Indian woman table tennis player to reach the semi-finals of the Asian Cup 2022 table tennis tournament. In the semi-finals, Manika was defeated by world number five Mima Ito by 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 7-11 (2-4). The country’s experienced player Manika had earlier defeated better-ranked Chen Szu-Yu of Chinese Taipei 4-3 in the quarterfinals. Besides, she had earlier upset world number seven Chen Jingtong of China.
In the 39-year history of the Asian Cup, Manika has ensured the record of best performance among Indians. Earlier in 2015, Achanta Sharath Kamal and in 2019, G Sathiyan were at the sixth position.
The top 16 players in men’s and women’s categories from the continent, based on world rankings and qualification, are participating in the $200,000 prize competition. It is a big achievement for Manika Batra to reach the semi-finals. This will increase confidence in the upcoming tournament.
However, Manika Batra will face Japan’s Hina Hayata for the bronze medal match. Talk about Batra’s opponent. Hina Hayata lost against Wang Yid China by 1-4 (11-7, 6-11, 11-4, 11-9, 11-5). The Japanese will be impatient.