Reigning women’s national champion Manika Batra clinched a hat-trick of gold medals and remained on course for a quadruple as India bagged two gold, two silver in the morning session of table tennis event at the 12th South Asian Games here today. Continuing her fine form, the tall Delhi girl added the women’s doubles crown with Pooja Sahasrabudhe prevailing over the more experienced pair of Mouma Das and K Shamini 11-7 13-11 11-5 in 30 minutes.
In the men’s doubles final G Sathiyan and Devesh Karia defeated Anthony Amalraj and Sanil Shetty 11-1 11-8 11-6 for the second gold at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Complex. Amalraj will take on Sathiyan in the men’s singles final later in the day as the national champion will be eyeing a triple gold. Five-time national champion Mouma will stand in the way of Manika’s bid for a fourth gold as the duo clash in another all-India women’s singles summit clash later in the day.
The 5 feet 11 inches tall girl has impressed with the court coverage as she has already bagged the team and mixed pair gold. “I’m really helped by my fitness coach Jagdev Chauhan while my mother — Sushma — is always behind me. I’m really thankful to them for such a glorious run,” Manika who hails for Naraina Vihar in Delhi said. Off the court, Manika, however, looks up to Mouma’s rich experience. “The rivalry is only limited to table. She has rich experience and gives me valuable inputs,” she added. India had earlier won three gold and one silver and they are all set to conclude their campaign in table tennis with yet another clean sweep of seven gold and five silver medals.