Paddlers often complain about the unpredictability generated by long-pimpled rubbers. Manika Batra, though, knew exactly how they would behave, and was quietly confident of the panic it would create in the Singapore camp. Ultimately, her plan reaped rich rewards. The Indian, ranked 58th in the world proved her win against higher ranked Singaporeans in the team round wasn’t a fluke as she repeated her performance to win her second gold of the games, and third overall. She also became the only Indian Woman to clinch gold at the Commonwealth Games and repeated the feat achieved by Sarah Kamzal in the Melbourne Games in 2006 by winning the individual and team gold.
Manika Batra was born on 15th June 1995 as the youngest of the three children. She hails from NarainaVihar, Delhi and began playing Table Tennis at the age of four. Her elder sister and elder brother both played table tennis, with Anchal having an influence on her during her early playing career. After winning a match in a state-level tournament, Batra decided to train under Coach Sandeep Gupta who suggested her to switch to Hans Raj Model School where he ran his academy. She went to Hans Raj Model School. As beautiful as she was, Batra turned down many modeling offers as a teenager. When she was 16, she declined an offer to train at the Peter Karlsson Academy in Sweden and Mary College for a year before dropping out to “concentrate” on Table Tennis. Today, she’d definitely not regret that decision.
In 2011, Batra won the silver medal in the under-21 category of Chile Open. She represented India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, where she finished as a quarterfinalist, as well as the 2014 Asian Games. She won Three Medals at the 2015 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships, winning silver in the omen’s team event (with Ankita Das and Mouma Das) as well as the women’s doubles event (again with Ankita Das) and bronze in the women’s singles event
She won a bronze medal at the 2015 Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships. Batra won three medals at the 2016 South Asian Games, winning the women’s doubles event (with PoojaSahasrabudhe), mixed doubles event (Anthony Amalraj) and women’s team event (with Mouma Das and Shamini Kumaresan). Batra was denied a fourth Gold Medal at the games by Mouma Das, who defeated her in the final of the singles event. She qualified for the women’s singles event of the 2016 Summer Olympics by winning the South Asia group of the qualification tournament in April 2016. However, her appearance at the 2016 Olympics was short-lived, as she lost to Katarzyna Grzybowska of Poland in the first round of the women’s individual event.
Manika Batra led the Indian Women’s team to a gold medal win in the final against four-time gold medalists and defending champions Singapore at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. The Singapore women’s team had never lost in the Common Wealth Games since the sport was introduced in the games in 2002. Batra defeated world number 4 Feng Tianwei as well as Zhou Yihan in India’s 3-1 win in the final.
Manika Batra’s success shows us that we should never back-off our dreams. Overcoming our obstructions’ and not replacing them with excuses is the key to achieving our dreams smoothly. Once she chose not to choose modeling as her career, she never looked back it. We should be firm about our decisions.
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