MANIKA BATRA, 20: Manika Batra is India’s top-ranked paddler, who will be making her first appearance in the extravaganza event. Batra hails from Delhi, is the youngest of child. She was largely inspired and influenced by her elder sister Anchal and elder brother Sahil during her early career. She started developing her interest in table tennis at the age of four. Indian ace is ranked 115th in the India International Trade Fair (IITF) world ranking. She is a dropout from Jesus and Mary College and has rejected several modeling offers during her teenage years.
Manik’s coach Sandeep Gupta has been with her since she won her first match in a Under-8 state-wide tournament. Manika who is 5ft 11 inches tall has an edge over many opponents. Because of her reach, she stands close to the table and switches from forehand to backhand quite easily. But the downside is that balls played to her body require an extra split-second to retrieve.
Record: Manika’s best international achievement so far was finishing with three gold and one silver medal at the 12th South Asian Games.
Career Highlights: Manika has won three gold medals at 2016 South Asian Games. She has represented India in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow in 2014 where she was a quarterfinalist. Also she has a gold medal in the 2nd division of the World Table Tennis Team Championships in March, 2016.
Qualifying event: Paddler booked her Olympic place by winning the group stage in the Asia Qualifiers in Hong Kong.
Event: Manika will represent India at the Rio 2016 Olympics in Table Tennis women’s singles round
Schedule: Table Tennis women’s singles round is scheduled to take place on August 6.