CHENNAI: After qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics within the girls’s singles and combined doubles final week, one would have anticipated star paddler Manika Batra to take it simple for the subsequent few days. However that wasn’t the case. The 25-year-old from Delhi — quickly after her final match in Doha within the Asian qualifiers — was again on the gymnasium and it was enterprise as typical.
“Regardless of whether or not I’ve gained a match or not, I be certain that my coaching and health classes by no means get affected. Even after successful the Nationals in Panchkula final month, I had begun coaching the subsequent day after reaching Pune,” Manika informed TOI on Friday. Manika has been coaching with coach Sanmay Paranjape in Pune for the final couple of years.
Manika, who featured in her maiden Olympics at Rio in 2016, believes qualifying for the occasion is simply step one. “I don’t wish to simply qualify however make a mark in Tokyo — be it by successful a medal or by stunning top-ranked gamers,” she mentioned. In the previous couple of years, Manika’s rankings and her sport have gotten higher because of all of the efforts she has put in. “The most important change in my sport lately has been on the work ethic entrance. I do know what it takes to be a top-level TT participant. If I’ve to compete with one of the best — my health ranges, coaching and sport should be top-notch,” mentioned Manika, a recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award final 12 months.
So far as her sport is worried, Manika’s forehand has change into deadly after working along with her coach. That’s not all. In a bid to get sharper, Manika has roped in Kiryl Barabanov — a Belarussian — as her sparring companion. “I’ve achieved a whole lot of work on my forehand and the outcomes are starting to point out. I’ve been working with Kiryl since final September and my sport has change into higher,” she mentioned.
Manika feels the Final Desk Tennis (UTT) league has been a game-changer for the game. “It has helped the game immensely. You get to play alongside a few of the finest gamers from internationally, and your sport is sure to get higher with that publicity,” she mentioned.
Manika and Sharath Kamal’s splendid efficiency to qualify for the combined doubles draw have made many wager on them as potential medal contenders in Tokyo. However Manika, on her half, doesn’t wish to suppose too far forward. “It was nice to have certified for the combined doubles occasion and we can be doing nothing however our greatest. However in the intervening time, the main target is barely on coaching and getting higher every day,” she mentioned.