Indian table tennis player Manika Batra staged a stunning comeback from two games down to force the match into a decider before emerging victorious over Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska in the women's singles second round at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. The final score read 4-3 (4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7) in Manika's favour post a contest that lasted nearly an hour. Notably, Pesotska, who is ranked 30 places above Manika in the world rankings, had taken a 2-0 lead, with Manika managing a cumulative of eight points in the two sets.
However, in the third set, she forced the match into longer rallies that seemed to have worked in her favour. She won the third game 11-7 and then clinched the fourth match which was a cliffhanger. Although she lost the next game, she bounced back yet again to win two on the trot to complete a sensational comeback from behind victory.
Earlier, the 26-year-old had stormed into the second round of the women's singles category after a 4-0 (11-7, 11-6, 12-10, 11-9) win over Great Britain's Tin-Tin Ho on Saturday. But she had to face a disappointing 4-0 defeat in mixed doubles with partner Achanta Sharath Kamal.
Mary Kom wins 4-1
Soon after Manika's inspiring performance in Round 2, multiple world time champion Mary Kom defeated Hernandez Garcia 4-1 in the round of 32 match on Sunday. Post the first two rounds, the scoreline stood levelled at 1-1. But in the winner-take-all final round, Mary rose to the occasion and was superb with her reflexes at 38 even against a 23-year-old opponent.
Earlier 0n Saturday, the 29-year-old Vikas Krishan lost his round of 32 match in the men’s welterweight boxing event and consequently bowed out of the competition. It was Japan's Mensah Okazawa who had the last laugh as he defeated the Indian 5-0 in this bout. India has one medal to its credit so far which was bagged by weightlifter Mirabai Chanu on Saturday in the 49 kg women's category on Saturday. Following her heroics, Mary has been all in praise for the fellow athlete from Manipur, highlighting the fighting spirit of the people from the Northeastern state of India.
Check out the social media posts related to the wins here: