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Great start for three Indian women in Tokyo

Mary Kom in pre-quarters; comfortable victory for Sindhu in first match; paddler Manika Batra in 3rd round

Tokyo, July 25 (UNI): Three Indian women Olympiads put up great performance in their respective disciplines to inch towards the final at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

Six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg) advanced to the pre-quarters after registering win in the round of 32 over Dominican Republic’s Miguelina Hernandez Garcia.

The 2012 London Games bronze medallist Mary dominated the proceedings in all the three rounds to bag a 4:1 split decision win at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena.

Mary Kom, a mother of four, will now face Rio 2016 bronze medallist and Colombian third seed Ingrit Valencia in the round of 16 on Thursday.

Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu began her Tokyo 2020 campaign with a comfortable victory over Ksenia Polikarpova of Israel in her first match of Group J of the women’s singles badminton event.

Sindhu outclassed Polikarpova 21-7, 21-10 in a one-sided clash, which lasted for just 29 minutes.

“Even though my opponent was lower-ranked, I didn’t want to assume it would be easy. It is important to be focused. I made sure we had some rallies and I got used to the court,” world No 7 Sindhu told the Badminton World Federation.

“It’s important to make sure you play all your strokes and get used to them on the court because you can’t play them all of a sudden against a stronger opponent, you can’t do that. It’s important to know that your strokes are going well,” she added.

Indian paddler Manika Batra defeated Margaryta Pesotska of Ukraine 4-3 in the table tennis women’s singles second round and advanced to the third round.

Batra came back from 2-0 down and then forced the match into a seventh game to stage a remarkable win at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

The final score read 4-3 (4-11, 4-11, 11-7, 12-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-7) in Manika’s favour in a match, that lasted for 57 minutes.

Sutirtha Mukherjee, who defeated Sweden’s Linda Bergstrom in the women’s singles first round on Saturday, will play her second-round match against Fu Yu of Portugal on Monday.

The Indian table tennis player had defeated Great Britain’s Tin-Tin Ho 4-0 in the first round on Saturday.

In the men’s lightweight (63kg) division, Manish Kaushik lost to Great Britain’s Luke McCormack by a 4:1 split decision in an evenly contested match.

Luke won the first round and Manish connected his punches better in the second.

However, the third round was ruled in the favour of Luke McCormack, putting an end to Manish Kaushik’s debut Olympics.

Earlier in the day, second-ranked men’s singles paddler Gnanasekaran Sathiyan crashed out of the Tokyo Olympics after losing 4-3 to Hong Kong’s Lam Siu Hang in the second round of men’s singles event.

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