India’s G Sathiyan and Manika Batra stormed into the mixed doubles pre-quarterfinals of the table tennis competition in the Asian Games on Wednesday. Sathiyan and Batra defeated Thailand’s Napat Thanmathikom and Suthasini Sawettabut 10-12, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8. Later, Harmeet Desai teamed up with Sreeja Akula to overcome Macau’s Chi Cheng Cheong and Hui Li Seak 12-10, 11-7, 11-7 to also enter the last 16 stage. Sathiyan and Batra made a rather cold start to the match losing the first game 10-12.
Perhaps, stung by the loose game they dished out, the Indian pair showed more purpose in the second game.
The Thai duo tailed their Indian counterparts 6-6 but Sathiyan and Batra upped their game when it was needed the most.
Nipat could not return Sathiyan’s fierce forehand when India were leading 10-8, as India levelled the scores.
Sathiyan and Batra had little trouble in quelling the challenge of Thai players in the third set, winning it quite easily 11-3.
In the fourth game, India were comfortably leading 10-5, but the Thai pair made a mini comeback winning three points in a row.
However, Suthasini could not connect with a forehand properly as India won the point and the match.
Harmeet and Sreeja faced some stiff resistance from Macau’s Chi and Hui in the first game before winning it 12-10.
But the Indian duo did not face any meaningful challenge from their opponents in the next two games.
In the men’s doubles event, India’s Manav Thakkar and Manush Shah survived some close moments before beating Thailand’s Napat Thanmathikom and Sitisak Nuchchart 11-8, 8-11, 11-6, 7-11, 12-10.
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