Indian table tennis star Manika Batra stood out as India’s star performer at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, winning as many as four medals to her name over the course of the competition. She produced some incredible displays in high-pressure encounters against higher-ranked opposition and headlined the Indian ping-pong contingent’s phenomenal showing.
Manika Batra and her medal winning feat
With four medals – two gold, one silver, and one bronze to her name, Manika Batra has stood out as India’s star performer from the Commonwealth Games 2018. To put things into perspective, had she been a country, she would be ranked 18th on the medal tally out of 71 nations.
Manika Batra 22-year-old from Delhi, who also participated in the Rio Olympics in 2016, became the first Indian woman to win an individual medal in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games. A gold each in the women’s singles and team event, a silver in the women’s doubles with Mouma Das, and a bronze in the mixed doubles with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran – Batra’s medal tally is a truly phenomenal one.
If Manika Batra was a country
If one is to imagine her as a country, she would be placed in 18th position on the overall charts out of 71 competing nations, which would put her ahead of countries such as Pakistan, Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, and Cameroon.
In the women’s mixed team event, Batra led from the front and in the final against Singapore, she won both her singles matches against Feng Tianwei, who is an Olympic silver medalist, and Zhou Yihan. In the women’s singles, she defeated a former World Championship gold medalist in the form of Yu Mengyu, and that too in straight games (11-7 11-6 11-2 11-7) with her unusual backhand technique using the dimpled rubber leaving opponents dumbfounded.
Her incredible rise has enthralled fans across the country, who hailed her as India’s hero from Gold Coast and even appealed to make her the flag bearer for the Indian contingent in the closing ceremony.
“I am very happy that I won a gold medal for India, and I am waiting to come back and meet my family, my coach Sandeep sir and all the Indians who supported me, thank you so much,” she told ANI.
Here’s hoping she continues on her path and brings more laurels to the country in the coming years.