by Ian Marshall
Meeting Indian colleague Sutirtha Mukherjee in the South Asia final, Batra made the brighter start but failed to build upon it as Mukherjee emerged the surprise winner across six games (7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4).
Success for Sutirtha Mukherjee, it was the same for Mongolia’s Bolor Erdene Batmunkh in the East Asia final as she simply held too much for Doljinzuu Batbayar (11-9, 17-15, 11-5, 7-11, 11-9). With victory, Mukherjee and Batmunkh reserve their place at Tokyo 2020.
Nervous moments, tense times at the end of the opening day of play, but for two men a sound sleep awaited.
India’s Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Mongolia’s Lkhagvasuren Enkhbat have booked places in the men’s singles event in Tokyo. The anticipated victor, no.2 seed Gnanasekaran accounted for Pakistan’s Muhammad Rameez (11-5, 11-8, 11-9, 11-2) to win the South Asia category, while Enkhbat delivered a similarly crushing blow against fellow countryman Munkhzorig Jargalsaikhan (11-6, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7).
Meanwhile, for Kazakhstan’s Kirill Gerassimenko alongside Iran’s Noshad Alamiyan it was a day without defeat, as it was for the Singaporean duo of Pang Yew En Koen and Clarence Chew, Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Jann Mari Nayre of the Philippines.
Organised on the knock-out principle, just one place available in Tokyo, the leading doubles pairs established their authority on proceedings as matters commenced in the mixed doubles event.
Most notably Korea Republic’s Lee Sangsu and Jeon Jihee enjoyed success, beating Uzbekistan’s Zokhid Kenjaev and Markhabo Magdieva (11-4, 11-1, 8-11, 11-7, 12-10), as did India’s Sharath Kamal Achanta and Manika Batra who dispatched of Qatar’s Mohammed Abdulwahhab and Maha Faramarzi (11-6, 11-6, 11-2, 11-3). Similarly, there were semi-final places for Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul and Suthasini Sawettabut, as there was for Singapore’s Pang Yew En Koen and Lin Ye.