Commonwealth Games 2018 is my best show: Manika Batra
TT champ Manika, who teamed up with G Sathiyan to win mixed doubles bronze yesterday, is over the moon after winning four CWG medals
India paddlers Manika Batra (left) and G Sathiyan pose with their bronze medals after the table tennis mixed doubles match at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games yesterday. Pic/AFP
Manika Batra may not really have been the name sports fans were scouring on the eve of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, but at the end of it, she is indeed the star. Batra teamed up with G Sathiyan to collect the mixed doubles bronze, beating compatriots Sharath Kamal and Mouma Das 11-6 11-2 11-4 to claim the honours in the playoff yesterday.
With four medals, including two gold, she emerged as India's top medal grosser at the Games. The Delhi girl Manika herself admitted that a singles gold was something she did not think much about before she came close. "Women's team medal was obviously the aim. As for singles, I knew that I had to be very good [to do something]. I wanted to take it game-by-game. I didn't really think too much about other things," Manika said.
Her next goal is the World Championships in Sweden. Manika played a key role in the team winning the gold medal and then brought down some big names before winning the individual gold. She became the first Indian to do so. "This is my first individual medal in this big tournament [women's singles] and I am feeling really proud. The experience was amazing — I defeated the World No. 4 Tianwei Feng of Singapore and Yu to win gold. I am feeling really happy from inside and very proud for my country." On her campaign in Gold Coast, Manika said, "This was my best-ever run on such a stage. I just pulled myself a bit and refocused and it helped me. Actually, I love challenges. I was obviously focused on giving my best."
"I never thought about I was playing a World No. 4 [Tianwei Feng] and all that. I never thought about the opponent's world ranking," she added. Manika felt she would now be less intimidated by the other Asian teams. "Yes, I will be (less intimidated). But different players have different styles. Whatever works for them, right?"