India's star table tennis player Manika Batra has been on a roll in the past few years. She recently became the first Indian woman to feature in the top-50 of world rankings. In addition, she remains the first Indian woman in the sport to attain a medal at Asian Games (she had also claimed gold at CWG in April 2018 -- another first). Describing her purple patch, the 23-year-old said, it is indeed "a matter of great pride". Further, she described her upward spiral in the rankings as "memorable."
On her recent rise in the world rankings, Manika pointed out, "It is very important, especially when I am the first woman table tennis player from India to achieve this feat. I will say it's a result of my hard work, my coach, the support staff, the federation (Table Tennis Federation of India) and my family. I also want to thank the Sports Authority of India for their continuous support. From here on, I have to work extra hard to improve further as I want to see myself among the very best in the world.
I think it's (the result of) proper planning and also the hard work and dedication that has gone behind the scenes from my coach and the support staff. It is surely a memorable feat for me, and it's (climbing up in rankings) one of the many milestones that I want to conquer in the time to come. Of course, it's a matter of great pride for me and my family to be able to achieve so many firsts in Indian table tennis."
Emphasing on the importance of rankings, Manika further stated, "It does help, as it provides a validation for your good performances at the international level, and the confidence helps in improving your skill and game."
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega