Manika Batra qualifies for Tokyo Olympics: India’s top table tennis player Manika Batra has now qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, slated to be held from July 23 this year.
Batra is among India’s four table tennis players who have qualified by finishing top of the South Asia group at the Asian Olympic Qualification tournament in Doha on Thursday.
Congratulating her on the successful qualification, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday tweeted, “Great news for India! Our star Table Tennis player Manika Batra has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the TT women’s singles! I’m hopeful that Manika will qualify in the mix-doubles also.”
Great news for India! Our star Table Tennis player @manikabatra_TT has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the TT women’s singles!
I'm hopeful that Manika will qualify in the mix-doubles also. pic.twitter.com/N1YwRLOjqO
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 19, 2021
Manika Batra qualifies for Tokyo
Looking to secure double qualification also, Batra— the Commonwealth Games gold medallist — is eyeing for her second Tokyo 2020 appearance at the quadrennial event.
Top Indian table tennis players Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan, Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee booked their places for the singles events in the Tokyo Olympics
In the women’s singles event, world No 62 Batra and world No 95 Sutirtha Mukherjee were competing against each other together to qualify for Tokyo Olympics. Eventually, India’s second-highest-ranked female player Mukherjee first qualified for the Games after beating the top-ranked Indian compatriot Batra 4-2 (7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4). The Khel-Ratna Awardee Batra was defeated but also qualified by the virtue of her ranking.
#TOPSAthlete @sathiyantt has qualified for #Tokyo2020 in men’s singles table tennis after topping the South Asia Round Robin group at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers. @sharathkamal1 and @manikabatra_TT have also qualified on basis of ranking. #JeetengeOlympics #GemsofSAI pic.twitter.com/mD1mMQoJe6
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) March 18, 2021
This will be Mukherjee’s first Olympic appearance.
Batra is an Asiad champion and Arjuna Awardee. She is the first Indian woman to win a singles gold in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games. She had guided the Indian women’s team to a historic gold at Gold Coast in 2018. She had also qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics by winning the South Asia Group qualification tournament.
The Indians will now move to mixed double qualification where Sharath and Batra cruised into the semi-finals after the pair defeated Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Maha Faramarzi of Qatar 4-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-3) in the quarters. They will also look to seal the Olympics berth.