by Simon Daish
Winners of eight medals on the Gold Coast, three of which were Gold, India was by far the standout table tennis nation at the 2018 Commonwealth Games but it was the success of one player in particular which has inspired the country.
Making her Commonwealth Games debut, Manika Batra outperformed expectations by leading India to its very first Women’s Singles title at the event and also helped her country to Women’s Team glory. Now the 23-year-old star from Delhi is determined to keep her fans happy with more strong performances on the international stage.
“A lot has changed. More people are now interested in the game, which is good… I don’t want to let down the people who have pinned their hopes on me. Commonwealth Games was good but the target now is to continue performing well.” Manika Batra
Two months on from her dramatic display Down Under, Batra is back competing in front of the Indian fans as a member of the Dabang Smashers team in the ongoing second season of Ultimate Table Tennis and in August she will travel to Indonesia to represent her country at the 2018 Asian Games.
Batra recognises that achieving a podium finish at the Games in Jakarta will be no easy feat, especially with players from China, Japan and Hong Kong also competing. However, Batra’s confidence is sky-high following her triumph on the Gold Coast and she has set herself lofty ambitions for the years ahead.
“Asian Games is going to be a lot tougher than the CWG. I would want to do well in the tournament. The aim is to break in the top-40 in the world and in the long run, I want to win an Olympic medal for India.” Manika Batra
Source: India Today