by Olalekan Okusan, ITTF-Africa Press Officer
In India, the performance of Manika Batra has ignited the interest in table tennis and life has taken a turn for the better for the Delhi based star.
Having turned down many modelling offers as a teenager, Manika Batra decided to embrace table tennis and today she has become the “Ding Ning” of India.
“Before the Commonwealth Games I had a dream that I won a gold medal and I stood on the podium with the Indian national anthem being rendered. So when I won the gold medals, particularly in the singles event in Australia, I realised that my dream has come to pass.” Manika Batra
The former pupil of the Hans Raj Model School admitted that her fame has risen since the feat in Australia.
“Apart from the fact that table tennis has become more popular in India now because of the feat in Australia, I have now become popular as well because people now point to me whenever I am walking on the streets. I do not want to be carried away by this as I will want to maintain my status in the sport. I had an amazing feeling when the Indian national anthem was played at the Commonwealth Games, particularly winning important matches in the team and singles events against a strong team like Singapore. Manika Batra
However, Manika Batra has been required to make a choice; the modelling career was the alternative.
“Table tennis has always been my passion; I do not want to dump it for any modelling..”Manika Batra
Success in Gold Coast but it has been disappointment in Halmstad.
“We have lost all the matches we had played but obviously we will continue to fight to ensure that we remain in the Championship Division; that is our focus now in Sweden. After this we still have the Asian Games in which we hope to do well.” Manika Batra
In the contest for positions no.13 to no.24 in the Women’s event at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships, India meets Luxembourg.