India’s hopes in the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham have suffered the first biggest setback. India’s women’s table tennis team led by Manika Batra, which won a historic gold medal four years ago with their brilliant game, suffered a shocking defeat even before reaching the medal round. Despite the presence of legends like Manika Batra, defending champions India lost 2-3 at the hands of Malaysia. In this way, the Indian team failed to defend its title and its journey ended in the quarter-finals itself.
Manika Batra lost to 19 year old player
The biggest and most shocking reason for India’s defeat was Manika Batra’s loss of her match. India’s biggest contender for a medal in singles and defending champion Manika suffered a shocking defeat in straight games at the hands of the 19-year-old Malaysian. Lower-ranked Malaysian player Karen Line defeated Manika 3-0 with scores of 11-6, 11-3, 11-9, giving Malaysia a chance to return to the match.
India had a poor start in this match though. The doubles pair of Reet Tennyson and Sreeja Akula lost the first match 1-3 (7-11 6-11 11-5 6-11). Due to this, the Indian team trailed 0-1 in the beginning itself. Manika made India return. After a tough fight in their first singles match, they won 3-2. Manika beat Ying Ho 3-2 (11-8 11-5 8-11 9-11 11-3) to level India.
Indian team lost despite the edge
In the very next match, India took the lead. This time Shreeja Akula showed her wonder in singles. Sreeja made up for the doubles loss by defeating Lee Sian Elise Chang 3-0 (11-6 11-6 11-9) in the second singles to take India 2-1. From here, India needed just one win, but the team lost two consecutive matches. Manika’s defeat took the match to a 2-2 draw. The Indian team could not recover from it while Malaysia took advantage of it. Ying Ho, who lost in the first match to Manika, defeated Tennyson 3-2 (10-12 11-8 6-11 11-9 11-9) in the last match to show the Indian team the way out.
Men’s team starts with victory
Earlier, the Indian men’s team defeated Northern Ireland 3-0 in their first match. India’s most successful and experienced paddler Achanta Sharath Kamal along with Harmeet Desai beat James Skelton and Owen Catchart 11-3 9-11 11-6 11-1 in doubles to lead India 1-0. Sanil Shetty then extended India’s lead by defeating Paul McCreery 11-5 15-13 11-6. Harmeet struggled to beat Catchart 5-11 11-9 12-14 11-3 11-6 in the second singles but his victory ensured India’s victory.