Ahmedabad, September 16: India's challenge in the 30th Table Tennis Asian Cup ended today (September 16) as Manika Batra failed to progress to the quarter-finals.
22-year-old Manika had topped Group D yesterday and was in with a chance to qualify for the second stage through play-offs. However, she lost to Miu Hirano of Japan 1-3 (7-11, 8-11, 11-8, 6-11) on Saturday at The Arena by TransStadia.
Overall it was good tournament for Manika, who was playing in her second Asian Cup. Previously she had featured in Dubai event last year.
Backed by home fans, Manika strung together three wins in the Group stage on Friday. She defeated Qatar's Mohamed Aia, Neda Shahsavari (Iran) and Thailand's Suthasini Sawettabut.
It was a tough match for Manika as she faced world number six Hirano. The Indian is ranked 119.
After losing the opening two games, Manika bounced back to take the third but could not go further as her spirited fight was ended in the fourth game.
Yesterday, Indian men Achanta Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai had bowed out in the group phase. Veteran Sharath could not win a single match while Harmeet had a victory.
This tournament acts as a qualification for World Cup to be held in Belgium next month. The top three finishers will get automatic berths to World Cup.
The action continues today with the quarter-finals and the tournament concludes tomorrow (September 17).