Indian paddler Sathiyan Gnanasekaran was stunned by Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang who recorded his maiden Olympic win at Tokyo Olympics. Lam won the match 4-3 having won the final three games in a row in an emphatic fashion. The Hong Kong paddler looked solid in the first game only to be decimated by Sathian in the next three.
Having lost the first game, Sathiyan came roaring back to take the next three games with ease. His body language, speed and rhythm came together for the Indian as he put Lam under pressure. The Hong Kong peddler was no match to Sathiyan as he went on to display a tremendous attacking game. When it seemed like the match was in the Indian’s hand, Lam made an impressive comeback.
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran falters on the big stage
Despite being ranked lower than Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Lam Siu Hang showed great character to bounce back having lost the second, third and fourth game by a huge margin. The Hong kong paddler struck to his strengths, rushing Sathiyan and his strategy paid dividends as the Indian was completely unsettled. Sathiyan struggled to make easy returns as Lam kept on chipping away at the points.
The loss will be a difficult one to stomach for the Indian who had a step over the line only to be undone by the Hong Kong paddler’s brilliance. But Sathiyan’s exit doesn’t mark the end of the Indian challenge in men’s singles with Sharath Kamal yet to play his opening encounter. All eyes will be on him to at least make it to the round of 16 at Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Manika Batra pulls off impressive comeback
In the women’s singles event, Manika Batra pulled off an emphatic performance to enter round three. Batra staged a comeback from 2-0 down to win her second game against Ukraine’s Margaryta Pesotska. While the Indian paddler didn’t look in touch early on losing the opening games by 4-11, she bounced back impressively.
She controlled the pace of the game for a good part to win the thrid and fourth set before the 26th seed won one to take the game to the decider. Manika was up to the task as she held her nerves to win the final game 7-11. Her performance has sparked the hope of a medal in the women’s single event.