Asian Games: Sharath Kamal and Manika win historic bronze

Sharath Kamal, Manika Batra
Indian paddlers Achanta Sharath Kamal (L) and Manika Batra in action during the semifinals of mixed doubles in Jakarta.

Jakarta: Indian paddlers Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra lost in the semifinals of mixed doubles at the Asian Games here on Wednesday, but ended with a historic bronze medal for the country from the event.

Sharath Kamal and Commonwealth Games champion Manika, who went down to China’s Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha 9-11, 5-11, 13-11, 4-11,8-11, became the first Indian pair to pick up a medal from the sport at the Games.

Sharath Kamal and Manika had rallied to down North Korea’s Cha Hyo Sim and An Ji Song 4-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-6, 11-8 in the quarterfinals to ensure themselves of a medal.

Sharath Kamal, for long the torch-bearer of Indian table tennis, was also part of the men’s team which won a first-ever medal from the sport in the continental spectacle as it qualified for the semifinals before losing to South Korea.

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