Tokyo Olympics Day-2 could not flourish a medal to India. Hence, no additions took place in the medal tally. However, it was a day with history being created as Manika Batra became the first-ever Indian Table Tennis Player to qualify for the third round in Olympic history.
Earlier, Manika and Sutirtha had defeated their opponents and qualified for the second round. This win in the women’s singles came after Many years. The last time, when an Indian woman qualified in the women’s singles second round was in 1992. Then, Niyati Roy Shah had beaten her Cuban opponent in the Barcelona Olympics.
Though Sutirtha Mukherjee is yet to play the game tomorrow, Manika set the bar! The match was quite difficult for Batra as she was playing as an unseeded player. The Ukrainian opponent Pesotska is seeded World no. 20. It was an intense match. Manika had lost the two games in the start, making things difficult. Despite that, she showed an excellent temperament and kept her calm.
She made a brilliant comeback and took the match to a 2 all situation. The third game went back to Pesotska. Still, Manika did not turn attacking. Instead, she frustrated her opponent in longer rallies. Pesotska lost her temperament and was caught in Manika’s trap. Batra won the third game easily, but things weren’t the same in the fourth game. When it seemed like it is going completely on the Indian’s side, world no. 20 started approaching closer. However, in the end, it was Manika Batra who had the last smile!
Other Events At Tokyo Olympics Day-2
Manika Batra’s nail-biter wasn’t the only highlight of the day. MC Mary Kom, the 38-yr old legend too qualified for the round of 16 after defeating her 15-yr younger opponent. Defeating her opponent from the Dominican Republic, Mary Kom made her way into the next round of qualifications. She won the bout by a split decision of 4-1. She is contesting in the women’s flyweight boxing (48 kg) weight category.
Though Manu Bhaker could not qualify for the finals and finished 12th in the women’s 10m Air Pistol hooting, she showed some amazing 10 pointers. The mixed events are still to be organized.
Also, the Indian Men’s hockey team lost to Australia by 7-1. Still, good news came from Rowing wherein Arun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh qualified to the semi-finals in the lightweight men’s double sculls.
At present, the medal tally stands with China on the top. Japan and United States follow China. While India stands on 24th rank.
There are many more games yet left including Manika’s Round 3 match against the Austrian Sofia Polcanova. The match will be telecasted at 1:00 PM IST. Many other games too line up. It will be wonderful to watch the Indian contingent at this version of the Olympics.
Stay tuned to Akashbaani for more Olympic News!