Reigning national champion Sreeja Akula and Manika Batra entered the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals with contrasting wins in the table tennis event of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday. Sreeja beat Malaysia’s Karen Lyne 12-10, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8, 11-8 in a round of 32 contest.
Lyne had stunned defending champion Manika Batra in the team event in Birmingham. Manika with India went down in the quarterfinals. India are looking to make up for that shock loss in the singles and doubles events. Soon after Sreeja’s win, Manika produced a clinical performance against Canada’s Fu Ching Nam with a 11-5, 11-2, 11-7 scoreline.
Her teammate Reeth Rishya, however, went down to England’s Charlotte Bardsley 1-4 in the round of 32. In para table tennis, Paralympic silver medallist Bhavina Patel cruised to a 3-0 win over Akanisi Latu of Fiji in a class 3-5 group match.
The Indian mixed pair of Sanil Shetty and Reeth Tennison, however, went down to the Malaysian pair of Wong Qi Shen and Tee Ai Xin 6-11 10-12 13-11 11-8, 8-11 in a round of 64 match. The Indians were caught off guard as they lost the first two games but bounced back to clinch the next two and took the match to the decider.