Indian table tennis player Manika Batra has become the first Indian female to win a medal at the ITTF-ATTU Asian Cup at Huamark Indoor Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. The star paddler Batra beat three-time Asian champion Hina Hayata 4-2 to clinch the bronze medal.
With the win, she also became the first Indian to beat two top-10 players in the same competition, after defeating world number 7 Chen Xingtong of China in the pre-quarterfinals on November 17. Manika won the match 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-6, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9. It was also the third Chinese opponent she defeated in her career. The 27-year-old Indian player went down against Japan’s Mima Ito in the semi-final stage 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 6-11, 11-8, 7-11, losing the encounter by 2-4.
Batra, currently ranked No.44 in the world, has become the only Indian woman to qualify for the semis of the tournament. She also became the second Indian after Chetan Baboor to reach the last four of the championship. She ensured the best finish by an Indian in the 39-year-old history of the competition. Achanta Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan had finished sixth in the 2015 and 2019 Asian Cup editions, respectively.