02 May 2018

Sixth place in the group, it has not been the best of fortunes for India in the Women’s event at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships; now the task is to try to stay in the Championship Division.

It is the very nature of sport and very different to some two weeks ago at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games when India won the Women’s Team event and Manika Batra reserved the top step of the podium in the Women’s Singles competition.

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.

2018 World Team Championships Manika Batra

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Photo Gallery

Day 8 - Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships

Match Highlights