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'Learnt from my mistakes at CWG': Manika Batra eyes bounce back at 36th National Games

Not worrying about 'Log kya kahenge?' and instead rushing back to training and working on rectifying her mistakes after a medal-less show at the CWG 2022, Manika Batra is eager to prove a point at the National Games.

Manika Batra Commonwealth Games 2022 Table Tennis

Only Manika Batra managed to win a match against Chinese Taipei in the pre-quarterfinals of the World Table Tennis Team Championships on February 21 in Busan. (Source: Getty)


Sohinee Basu

Published: 20 Sep 2022 9:19 AM GMT

Looking to put the memories of the medal-less Birmingham Commonwealth Games outing in the past, ace Indian paddler Manika Batra is gearing up to bounce back and the 36th National Games will act as the perfect platform for her to show her refreshed motivation.

"Just because I didn't get a medal from the Commonwealth Games this year, it doesn't mean everything is finished," Batra conveyed to the media from Surat, where she is currently placed for the table tennis events of the National Games, that is taking place earlier to avoid a clash with the World Team Table Tennis Championships from 30th September.

READ | An open letter to Manika Batra - We know you will shine again

It's been over a month since the Birmingham Commonwealth Games wrapped up and Batra, who was the golden girl of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games had to return from Birmingham, empty-handed and visibly disappointed.

Manika Batra during the media conference

"Of course, I was upset after the Games but like I always tell myself, it's not the end of the world and think log kya kahenge?"

"Instead I returned to India and immediately started practising again, working on the mistakes I have made in the last few tournaments with my coach.

"We worked on my fitness and on the table as well and now I'm prepared for the National Games and then the World Team Table Tennis Championships in China, more than ever," Batra said.

Valuing the National Games at par with any other competition, Batra conveyed, "For me, every competition is the same. I'm glad the government is organizing this. I didn't do very well in my last National Games and therefore I will try and do much better this time, implement whatever I have worked on with my coach in practice sessions and bring it to the table during matches and hopefully, enjoy the Games here," she put forth optimistically.

"The competition in India is also good now. We have a lot of youngsters who are playing really well too," Batra said, also mentioning how she takes out her time to motivate them as a senior when they go to international events.

Batra, whose long pips (a kind of rubber that interferes with the spin of the opponent) have been a speciality, was also left looking for answers when she was particularly attacked by the Malaysians during the CWG, her usual game crumbling with the ready defence of the Malaysian paddlers.

However, Batra seems to have no plans to change her long pip rubber, any time soon.

"I'm never going to leave my pimples. Yes, players are getting used to it now but from inside, this is my game and I love it. I will never change my rubber, I think," she said with a laugh when asked if there is a change of plans on the horizon.

With all her focus pointed at the National Games where she hopes to win, Batra is looking forward to a week of healthy and exciting competition in Surat before she goes ahead with the same momentum to the World Team Table Tennis Championships, later this month, eager to do the country proud.

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