Asian Games 2023: Sutirtha, Ayhika win bronze 

Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee scripted one of the most astonishing results at this Asian Games from an Indian viewpoint, flattening and foxing Cheng and Wang 11-5, 11-5, 5-11, 11-9, at their den no less, in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

It ensured a first table tennis medal in women’s doubles for India from the continental showpiece, a bronze at least that could yet be bettered.

No mean feat, given Indian paddlers found some podium space in a Games and sport dominated by Asian powerhouses only in the previous 2018 edition with a men’s team and mixed doubles (Sharath Kamal-Manika Batra) bronze. No mean feat, given Chinese combos have swept all but one medal from the women’s doubles finals in the last three Asian Games.

No mean feat, given the Mukherjees, who come from the same city of Naihati and train together with Soumyadeep Roy and Poulomi Ghatak, got going as a doubles pair on the WTT circuit only last year and weren’t selected for the 2022 Commonwealth Games or this year’s Worlds in May.


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