Manika Batra, the star Indian women Pedder has once again created history for her country. She has become the first women from India to clinch a medal in Asian Games.
Manika became the first Indian women table tennis player to win a bronze medal in Asian Games. She shocked the world number 6 Hina Hiyata of Japan to clinch this victory.
Batra outperformed Hiyata in a 4-2 victory. It was a tipsy topsy game with no guarantee about which player shall come on top.
Manika Batra creates history at Asian Cup
The match started with Manika Batra drawing the first blood and winning 11-6. The Japanese immediately returned the favor with a 6-11 victory.
Manika then made a strong comeback with 2 straight victories. She defeated Hiyata 11-7 and 12-10 in consecutive games. Although Hiyata made a comeback in the fifth set, Batra was unrelenting. And clinched the 6th and her 4th set to win the match.
Post her victory, Manika shared an emotional message in which she said, “This win is a huge one for me, defeating the top players. I enjoyed playing and fighting well against them to achieve a fantastic result. I will continue to put the extra yard in all my future tournaments. I expect all of you to extend your full support.”
Earlier today Manika lost her semifinal against second seeded Mima Ito. It was a closely contested game but somehow Ito always managed to remain on top. As a result, Manika suffered a 2-4 loss and was forced to play the bronze medal match.
With this victory against Hiyata, she has confirmed the best finish by an Indian in Asian Cup history. No other Indian athlete has managed better in the 39-year history of the game.
Manika will also walk away with a 10,000 dollar prize money which will accompany her bronze medal.