Manika advances, Sathiyan crashes out in Olympic Table Tennis

Manika Batra
Manika Batra in action against Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska in the second round of table tennis women's singles in Tokyo 2020 on Sunday. Photo: AFP

Tokyo: India had mixed fortunes in Olympic table tennis on Sunday with Manik Batra advancing in women's singles while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran crashed out in the men's singles event.

Batra defeated Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska 4-3 (4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7). Batra was down 2-0 before fighting her way back into the match The Ukrainian lost her sharpness in penultimate game allowing Batra to script a morale-boosting win.

Earlier, Sathiyan lost his second-round match, 3-4, to Hong Kong's Lam Siu Hang, ranked 95th in the world at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Sathiyan, the world No. 26, took three of the first four sets before losing the next three to crash out 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 10-12 and 6-11 to Hang. The match lasted an hour and three minutes.

Sathiyan, who received a bye in the first round, had defeated Hang twice before -- 4-0 at the 2017 India Open and 4-1 at the Spanish Open later in the year.

Hang won the first game 11-7. But Sathiyan managed to make a comeback, leading 4-1 in the second game. He eventually won the game 11-7 and levelled the match 1-1.

Sathiyan continued the comeback charge by winning the third and fourth games 11-4 and 11-5 respectively. The 28-year-old took a 3-1 lead in the match and was just one game away from progressing to the third round.

But Hang came back strongly in the fifth game, winning it 11-9 and giving the match a twist. Hang relied on forehand and backhand smashes to race to 7-3 in the sixth game. Sathiyan came back to save two match points. But Hang was able to stop Sathiyan's charge, taking the sixth game 12-10.

In the decider set, the Hong Kong paddler was leading 4-2. Sathiyan tried bridging the gap but Hang matched ahead to take the final set 11-6 and complete a come-from-behind win.

Hang will now face local favourite and world No. 3, Tomokazu Harimoto, in the third round.

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