Manika Batra: TT's poster Girl
In a conversation with Aditya K Halder, table tennis sensation Manika Batra discusses her success at the Commonwealth Games, emphasising upon the many challenges that have contributed to her promising success across international platforms.
As the tricolour swayed in pride with the national anthem ringing in the background – at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 –an emotionally-drenched Manika Batra was seen taking deep anxious breaths. Battling to restrain her tears, the shy girl from New Delhi was still attempting to come to terms with her brand new accomplishment. The fact that she has just won the first-ever individual gold medal in table tennis for India at CWG, a discipline in which the nation has been considered the perennial underdog, was no mean feat.
Manika vividly recalls the many thoughts buzzing through her mind as she stood elevated at the CWG podium. "The moment I saw the flag being hoisted, I was trying hard not to cry. My coach (Sandip Gupta) and I underwent several hardships. I remember how often I was criticised for my rubber preference. Winning the gold despite those criticisms overwhelmed my emotions on that day," said the 22-year-old paddler.