Indian TT's dream run at the Asian Games continued Wednesday when the mixed-doubles pair of A Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra bagged a historic bronze.
The Kamal-led men’s team had earlier secured third place , ending India’s 60-year-wait for a maiden medal at the Asian Games.
In the mixed-double semifinals, Kamal and Batra made life tough for China’s Yingsha Sun and Wang Sun before going down 9-11, 5-11, 13-11, 4-11, 8-11.
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It was a best-of-seven semifinal while the earlier rounds were played in the usual best-of-five format.
Their pre-quarterfinal was against the strong South Korean pair of Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee but the Indians battled past them 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4.
Kamal and Batra then guaranteed themselves a podium finish by beating North Korea's Cha Hyo Sim and An Ji Song 11-4, 10-12, 11-6, 6-11, 11-8
The combination of Kamal’s power and Batra’s deceptive play proved too hot to handle for the Koreans.
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“In mixed doubles, the role of the female player is very important. More often than not, it actually decides who is going to win the match,” Kamal said.
“It has been an unbelievable campaign so far. Not even in my wildest dreams had I thought of winning a medal at the Asian Games. Now I have one too. I am still pinching myself,” added Kamal, who will also compete in the men’s doubles and singles competiton.
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