The 12th Indian pair of Manika Batra and Sharat Kamal are ready to face third-placed pair Lin Yun-Zhu and Cheng Yi-Cheng from Chinese Taipei in the clash of the eighth finals of the mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics on July 24.
The draws for table tennis competitions were announced on Wednesday. The mixed doubles event debuted at the Olympics.
Seated 34th at the Olympics, Manica will launch her singles campaign on the same day as her mixed doubles match against Britain’s Tin Tin Ho, ranked 94th in the world.
In the second round Manika will face the Ukrainian Margarita Pesotska and is scheduled to meet Sofia Polkanova from Austria in the third round.
Her teammate, Sutirtha Mukherjee, ranked 52nd, will face world number 78 Linda Bergstrom in the first round.
Sutirtha will face Portuguese Yu Fu in the second round, followed by Japanese host Mima Ito in the third round. The 20-year-old Ito, ranked second in the world, is a central figure in the Japanese team.
The best Indian rowers Sharat Kamal (20th seed) and G Sathiyan (26th seed) received a farewell in the first round of the men’s singles.
Satian will face Brian Afanador of Puerto Rico or Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang in the second round before facing the Japanese teen sensation and third seed Tomokazu Harimoto in the third round.
Harimoto and Satian have played against each other four times, with the Japanese winning three times. The only time Satian defeated Harimoto was in the 2019 Asian Championships.
In the second round, Sharat will play against Portuguese Tiago Apolónia or Nigerian Olajide Omotayo.
His clash in the third round will be against second place winner Ma Long of China, a gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Olympics. In the five matches between Sharat and Long, the Chinese won all five times.
The table tennis matches for the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be held from July 24 to August 6 at the capital’s high school in Tokyo.