Sharath and Sutirtha book Olympic berths

It will be the latter’s maiden Games

Sharath Kamal became the first Indian paddler to book a spot at the Tokyo Olympics after he defeated Pakistan’s Muhammad Rameez 11-4, 11-1, 11-5, 11-4 in the second men’s singles round-robin match at the Asian Olympic qualification event in Doha on Thursday.

Sharath, who had lost to G. Sathiyan 9-11, 13-15, 11-5, 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 8-11 in the opening match, took just 22 minutes to beat Rameez. It will be Sharath’s fourth appearance at the quadrennial extravaganza.

Sutirtha Mukherjee booked a singles berth with a 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4 win over top-ranked Manika Batra. It will be her first Olympic appearance.

“It was a good match against Sathiyan but I made some errors and he capitalised on them. I was a bit nervous before playing Rameez as I had never faced him before,” said the World No. 32 from Doha.

Sharath also entered the mixed doubles semifinals with Manika, the duo beating Mohammad Abdulwahhab and Maha Faramarzi of Qatar 11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-3. Sharath and Manika , who received a bye in the first round, will take on Koen Pang Yew En and Ye Lin of Singapore on Friday.

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