Table tennis, ITTF World Cup: Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula exit tournament in group stage

Manika Batra and Sreeja Akula exited the 2024 ITTF World Cup in the group stage of the tournament on Wednesday.

The two Indian paddlers finished second in their respective groups with one win and one loss each in Macau, China. However, with each group (16 in total) having only three players, only the group leader advanced to the knock-out stage. There was no Indian representation in the men’s singles category.

Akula made a good start to her campaign on Tuesday when the world No 39 beat Natalia Bajor from Poland 4-0 (11-9, 11-6, 11-5, 11-5). However, her stay in Macau ended when she was beaten 1-3 (4-11, 4-11, 15-13, 2-11) by reigning Olympic champion and world No 4 Chen Meng of China.

For Batra, who is the highest-ranked Indian paddler in women’s singles at no 37, it was a similar affair. The 28-year-old completed a come-from-behind 3-1 win in her opening match against Romania’s Adina Diaconu (9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-8). However, Batra went down 0-4 to home favourite and world No 2 Wang Manyu, losing 6-11, 4-11, 9-11, 4-11 to exit the tournament.

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