Games & medals
Rio de Janeiro 2016 2016
Manika BATRA biography
A Commonwealth Games gold medallist, an Olympian and winner of multiple honours, Manika Batra is one of the true stars of Indian table tennis.
She created a stir in 2018 in Gold Coast when she bagged four medals, two of them gold, at the Commonwealth Games in what was her most successful year to date.
Batra had already caught the eye with three golds at the 2016 South Asian Games, ahead of making her Olympic debut at Rio 2016. .
Whilst table tennis was her first love - she began playing with her siblings from an early age - the Delhi-born Batra turned down modelling offers in her teens to concentrate on table tennis.
In much the same way PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal have done for badminton in India, Batra wants to be the "face" of her sport in India.
"Like table tennis, badminton wasn't so famous (in India)," Batra has said. "But the amount of recognition they have got for badminton, I would also like to take table tennis to greater heights in India."
In fact, she loves table tennis so much, she even wears a bat and ball-shaped pendant round her neck.
Like her idol Achanta Sharath Kamal, who she feels proud playing with, Batra qualified for the Olympics when she was 21 and although she was knocked out in the first round, it served as the perfect learning curve for the ever-improving youngster.
The following year she rose to 104 on the ITTF rankings, making her the highest-ranked female table tennis player from India and created history when she, along with Mouma Das, became the first-ever all Indian table tennis pair to enter the quarter-finals of the World Table Tennis Championships.
Her rapid ascent saw her greatest accomplishment so far at the 2018 Commonwealth Games when Batra won the women’s singles gold, beating Singapore’s Yu Mengyu in the final.
The win made Manika Batra the first Indian woman table tennis player to win an individual gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
She also led the Indian women's team to a gold medal after beating four-time gold medalists Singapore in the final. The feat was even more impressive considering that the Singapore women's table tennis team was unbeaten in the Commonwealth Games since 2002.
Manika Batra’s exploits saw her win the ITTF’s ‘Breakthrough Star’ award later in the year, the only Indian table tennis player to receive it.
She has since established herself comfortably among the top 100 in women’s singles, and will now be setting her sights on making an impression at Tokyo 2020.