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Commonwealth Games 2022

Watch: Manika Batra dismantles South Africa’s Mushfiquh Kalam to take India on top of the rankings

Manika Batra beat South Africa’s Musfique Kalam by 11-5 11-3 11-2

Manika Batra, Mushfiquh Kalam
Manika Batra, Mushfiquh Kalam (Image Credit : Twitter/Commonwealth Games)

The 2018 Gold Medalist, Manika Batra, has started her title defence with an imposing win against South Africa’s Musfique Kalam by 11-5 11-3 11-2 in the first singles match. Early in the game, her teammates, Reeth Tennison and Sreeja Akula beat the South African pair of Lailaa Edwards and Danisha Patel by 11-7, 11-7, 11-5. Notably, Batra is the only player to win a Gold medal in Table Tennis for India in the singles game.

The official broadcasters of the multi-spot event in India, Sony Sports Network have uploaded the parts of the 2018 Gold beating Kalam. In the one-minute video, the snapshots of Manika beating Kalam and how the latter didn’t stand a chance against her Indian counterpart. At the time of writing, the video has been watched by more than 100 people, and the numbers might multiply in no time.

Watch the video here

After Batra’s magic,  Akula then came back and scored a dominating 11-5 11-3 11-6 win over Patel in the second singles to seal the tie for India. With this win, the Asian team has taken a lead of 2-0. Now, the Round 2 matches between India and Fiji will take place at 8:30 PM (IST). Talking about Batra’s career, she is the first women’s table tennis player from India to make it to the round of 32 in singles at an Olympics in Tokyo Olympics last year.

Before winning the Gold Medal in 2018, she had won three gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games. The paddler made her debut in the Rio Olympics in 2016. She began playing the sport with her siblings from an early age. The Delhi-born turned down modelling offers in her teens to concentrate on the sport. In an interview, she said that she is confident of getting the same recognition just like the Badminton players have these days.

“Like table tennis, badminton wasn’t so famous (in India),” Manika Batra said. “But the amount of recognition they have got for badminton, I would also like to take table tennis to greater heights in India.”

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