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Tokyo Olympics: Why is table tennis Chief Coach absent from Manika Batra's matches?

Although Manika Batra has flown in her personal coach for Tokyo, she hasn't really been able to train with him. Meanwhile, Chief Coach remains absent from sidelines.

Indian Table Tennis star Manika Batra

Manika Batra (Source: TTFI)


Abhijit Nair

Updated: 26 July 2021 6:32 AM GMT

The star table tennis player from India, Manika Batra, has started off in an amazing fashion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 26-year-old is the first Indian table tennis player to qualify for the third round of singles at the Olympics.

The New Delhi girl scripted a wonderful comeback from behind to clinch the victory today against Ukraine's Margaryta Pesotska. While it was certainly a resounding win for India, it did not come without controversy.

For the second day in a row, Manika Batra refused to take the help of the Indian national coach table tennis coach Soumyadeep Roy during the match.

"I had to intervene in the matter, but she also refused me to take Roy's advice during the match," the team leader and advisor to Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) had said to PTI yesterday.

Why is Manika Batra refusing to take the help of Soumyadeep Roy?

Manika Batra in action at the Tokyo Olympics (Source:Twitter/@sachin_rt)

This is mainly due to the fact that Manika's personal coach, Sanmay Paranjape, is also in Tokyo but has not received the accreditation to stay in the Olympic Games village.This has meant that even though Batra has her personal coach in Tokyo, she has not really been able to train with him.

Manika Batra had requested the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and TTFI for the inclusion of Sanmay Paranjape in the Indian contingent for the Tokyo Olympics. While the request was accepted and Paranjape was sent to Tokyo, he did not get the accreditation to be on the venue during Batra's matches.

Manika Batra had put forth a special request to allow her coach at her games, but it was rejected by the organisers, and she has since competed in two memorable women's singles matches with neither national coach Soumyadeep Roy nor personal coach Sanmay Paranjape on the sidelines to guide her on.

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