Indian paddlers get tough draws, Sharath-Manika to face 3rd seed in opener3Photo© news18.com

Indian paddlers get tough draws, Sharath-Manika to face 3rd seed in opener

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India paddlers were on Wednesday handed tough draws at the Tokyo Olympics with the mixed doubles pairing of Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra pitted against third seeds Lin Yun-ju and Cheng I-Ching of Chinese Taipei on Saturday. Batra ranked 62, though got an easy first-round where she will face Great Britain's Ho Tin-Tin, ranked 32 places below the Indian. The Indian, should she win the opening round, will face Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska next.

Sharath and Manika had sealed the Olympics berth in mixed doubles after beating world number eight Korean Sang-Su Lee and Jihee Jneon in the final of the Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament in March.

Before leaving for Tokyo, the duo could practice only for three days in the national camp before Batra returned to her training base in Pune. In the men's draw, Sharath and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran seeded 20th and 26th respectively, received first-round byes. Their opponents for the second round will depend on winners from first-round matches.