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TTFI News 30th-Sep-2023
Mukherjee duo assures a TT medal for India

New Delhi, Sept 30: India will not return empty-handed in the table tennis events of the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

 

After all the failures by senior pros, first-timers Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee beat World Champions and No. 2 Chinese pair of Meng Chen and Yidi Wang 3-1 (11-5, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9) in the quarterfinals, assuring them and India at least of a bronze medal in the women's doubles today.

 

Their semi-final showdown will be against the winners of the match between Hong Kong and North Korean paddlers.

 

The Indian duo, ranked No. 16 in the world, dominated from the word go to take the first two games, but Meng and Yidi bounced back with an easy 11-5 victory in the third. In the fourth game, however, the world No. 2 pair mounted pressure, which the Mukhrejees did well to thwart and seal their spot in the semi-finals.

 

“We combined well today, but the 2-0 lead helped us shift the pressure on the top pair,” said Ayhika. “After all, we had nothing to lose and we wanted to attack from the beginning and worked to our advantage,” said a happy Sutirtha.

 

President Meghna Ahlawat congratulated the Mukherjee for assuring a medal for themselves and India. "It's one of the finest hours. You both did us and India proud, more to women's power," she said.

 

Secretary General Kamlesh Mehta was effusive in his praise for the women's doubles team. "You have not just made us and India proud but kept our hopes and expectations of medal intact. Do well in tomorrow's match and best of luck," he said.

 

The efforts of the Mukherjee duo, coming as it did at the end of the day, were some good news after the Manush Shah-Manav Thakkar pair put up a brave front before going down to the top Korean duo of Jang Woojin and Lim Jonghoon 2-3 (8-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, 11-9) in a quarterfinal battle that threatened to derail the Korean plan.

 

Earlier, Manika Batra failed to live up to the expectations of millions of her fans, but not before offering resistance against Yidi Wang of China. The Indian paddler bowed out in the quarters, losing 8-11, 12-10, 6-11, 4-11, 14-12, 5-11.