Table tennis ace Manika Batra has eyes set on 2018 Commonwealth Games | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Table tennis ace Manika Batra has eyes set on 2018 Commonwealth Games

Manika Batra, India’s highest ranked player in the women’s circuit, is one of the country’s biggest hopes in table tennis. She, along with Mouma Das, recently entered the quarter-finals of World TT Championships

other sports Updated: Jun 23, 2017 14:27 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Manika Batra says her World TT Championships quarterfinal appearance was ‘a really proud moment’.
Manika Batra says her World TT Championships quarterfinal appearance was ‘a really proud moment’.(HT Photo)

Manika Batra recently created history alongside senior table tennis pro Mouma Das, when the duo reached the women’s doubles quarterfinals at the world championships. They became the first Indians to reach the last-eight of the world event in 61 years.

India’s highest ranked player in the women’s circuit, the 22-year-old Manika is one of the country’s biggest hopes in table tennis.

Terming her quarterfinal appearance as ‘a really proud moment’, she said she was glad to have played her part in breaking India’s quarterfinal voodoo at the tournament.

Read | Manika Batra, Sharath Kamal to spearhead Indian challenge at ITTF World Tour

The Indian duo saw their dream run end at the hands of Ding Ning and Liu Shiwen, the top-ranked Chinese players.

“It was a great experience for me. Mouma Das is a very experienced player, and we did very well together,” she told Hindustan Times.

Read | Sharath Kamal advances; Manika Batra, Mouma Das in TT World Championships last-8

Manika will now shift her attention to the inaugural season of India’s domestic league, Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), with the drafts having taken place earlier this month.

The tournament will run from July 13-30, and Manika will be representing the OS Yoddhas franchise.

“It’s a really important step. (The league) will be a big help for the young players. Quite a few players in the top 50 will be here, so to play with them will be a very good experience for the youngsters,” she stated.

“Now that we have the league, people will hopefully start watching table tennis,” added Manika.

With appearances at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Asian Games and 2016 Olympics, under her bag, the youngster has been going places early on in her career.

In Rio, she lost in the first round to Katarzyna Franc-Grzybowska in a closely-fought match.

“I was happy that I played well in my first Olympics. I am young and I had very little pressure going into the event. Even after that, I have played good, so I am happy with it.

Having shown tremendous promise early on in her career, she is now aiming to give her world ranking a big upward push.

While Manika has an eye on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, she says her prime focus on the international arena will be on the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

“I want to have good runs in the big tournaments and improve my ranking. We have the Commonwealth Games next year. This time, I want to win a medal for the country,” said the young paddler from Delhi.