The Indian pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra made its way to the mixed-doubles final at the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament after the duo defeated Singapore’s Koen Pang Yew En and Lin Ye 4-2 in the semi-final clash here on Friday.
The world No. 19 Indian pair has now set up the final clash against world No. 8 Korean pair of Sang-Su Lee and Jihee Jeon on Saturday and is now a win away from qualifying for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Having already secured the singles berths on Thursday and now aiming for double qualification, Sharath and Manika faced a tough challenge in the initial part of the match as the scores were levelled at 2-2 after the fourth game. However, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist pair managed to hold an edge over the opponent and bagged two successive games to complete a 12-10, 9-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11 victory in 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Korean duo Lee and Jeon entered the final with a 4-11, 11-7, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 11-8 victory over Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabut.
On Thursday, all the four Indian paddlers Sharath, Manika, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan and Sutirtha Mukherjee earned themselves singles spots at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. While Sathiyan and Sutirtha emerged winners in their respective categories of the South Asian Group, Sharath and Manika sealed Tokyo berths by virtue of being the highest-ranked second-placed players.