by Simon Daish
A breakthrough year for Manika Batra has culminated in the 23-year-old Indian talent winning the 2018 Breakthrough Star award tonight in Incheon.
Batra enjoyed a sensational outing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, earning India its first-ever gold medal in the Women’s Singles category, and she went on to leave the Gold Coast with three further medals to her name from the Women’s Team, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles events.
Later in the year, Batra also played her part in guiding India to its second table tennis medal at the 2018 Asian Games, partnering Sharath Kamal Achanta to a Mixed Doubles bronze medal finish in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Batra is the first Indian athlete to be honoured at the ITTF Star Awards and becomes the first player from outside of Japan to be named the Breakthrough Star.