India’s Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutirtha Mukherjee brought home a historic Bronze medal in the women’s doubles Table Tennis competition at the Asian Games on Monday.
The duo went up against North Korea in a nail-biter of a match which went down the wire till the final game. But, ultimately North Korea triumphed and moved on to the Finals, handing the Indians the Bronze.
Their match against the North Koreans started off on a high note as the Indian pair just cruised through their opposition 11-7.
The North Koreans were no quitters, as they came back 11-8 in the following game, but were once again put away with ease by the Indians in the third game for 7-11.
A fiery set ensured in the fourth game where the North Korean went on the offensive, attacking the forehand of Sutirtha and Ayhika to build up a easy 9-4 lead. But, the Indians countered back to push the game to 10-8, but alas ere put away by the North Koreans.
The intensity had reached another level by the fifth game, where both teams went back and forth exchanging smash after smash.
The game went down to the wire with both teams struggling to build any lead larger than a mere point as they traded shots throughout.
With the scores tied at 8-8, North Korea went on the offensive to build 2-point lead and were one point away from victory. The Indian duo pulled a point back, in search of an equalizer, but were put away 11-9 in a nail-biter of a set. North Korea ended up taking the lead in the match with a score of 3-2 and were one game away from the finals.
The penultimate game kicked off with North Korea clinching the opening point, but Ayhika-Sutirtha went on a rampage, claiming six points in a row, hungry to stay alive and push for Game 7.
And despire the North Koreans best effort, the India pair put them away witth ease, as they clinched the crucial game 11-5 and forced a game seven.
The final game started off disastrously for the Indians, as the North Koreans blitzed them for four straight points off the bat to build a comfortable lead whilst putting pressure on the Indians.
The Indians managed to find a breakthrough and end the streak, but the Sugyongs picked up two more points in a row to maintain the lead at 7-1.
At the end, it just was not meant to be for the Ayhika and Sutirtha, who lost the bout 11-2, handing the North Koreans a 4-3 win.
But, the Indian pair’s performance in the Asian Games this campaign, assured them both a well-deserved and historic Bronze.