Tokyo 2020 qualifier: Indian teams lose, need to win playoff

Both the India men's and women's teams will have to fight it out in the playoffs to grab the ninth and last qualifying spot in their respective sections.

Hopes of the Indian women were ignited with Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee taking turns to beat World No. 19 Bernadetter Szocs.

Hopes of the Indian women were ignited with Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee taking turns to beat World No. 19 Bernadetter Szocs.   -  AFP

Indian women slipped at the threshold of a historic victory over Romania before Indian men lost to lower-ranked Slovenia in the pre-quarterfinals of the World Team Qualification Tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Now both teams will have to fight it out in the playoff to grab the ninth and last qualifying spot in their respective sections.

Hopes of the Indian women were ignited with Manika Batra and Sutirtha Mukherjee taking turns to beat World No. 19 Bernadetter Szocs, a regular at the Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) League to help India draw level. In the deciding rubber, 61st-ranked Manika suffered a stunning defeat
at the hands of World No. 134 Daniela Monteiro Dodean.

READ | World Team Qualification T’ment: Manika, Archana steer India into pre-quarterfinals

Ninth-ranked India began as the favourite against 14th-ranked Slovenia. By winning the doubles, India started on a high. But thereafter, nothing went India’s way.

Slovenia’s 40th-ranked Darko Jorgic played his part to perfection – beat G. Sathiyan and Sharath Kamal – to ensure his country’s place in the Olympics.

Jorgic stunned 30th-ranked Sathiyan, the strongest player in the tie, in straight sets. Bojan Tokic, as expected, proved stronger to Harmeet Desai before Jorgic returned and bounced back from the loss of the opening set to stop Sharath Kamal.
 

The results (quarterfinals):

Men: Slovenia bt India 3-1 (Deni Kozul and Bojan Tokin lost to Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai 9-11. 7-11, 5-11; Darko Jorgin bt G. Sathiyan 11-9, 12-10, 11-3; Bojan Tokic bt Harmeet Desai 5-11, 12-10, 6-11, 11-5, 11-6; Jorgic bt Sharath 10-12, 11-7, 12-10, 11-8).

Women: Romania bt India 3-2 (Daniela Monteiro Dodean and Elizabeta Samara bt Suthirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee 10-12, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6; Bernadette Szocs lost to Manika Batra 11-7, 10-12, 9-11, 7-11; Samara bt Ayhika 12-10, 5-11, 11-2, 11-7; Szocs lost to Sutirtha 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-4; Dodean bt Manika 11-8, 11-4, 3-11, 11-2).

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