Manika Batra keen to put setbacks behind her and shine in the National Games

India’s top table tennis player Manika Batra is determined to overcome recent setbacks and make a strong comeback from the 36th National Games, which got underway with the Team Events here on Tuesday.

“I’m very excited to compete in the National Games. It is a very important event,” she said during a media interaction.

The toast of the nation after winning four medals in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Manika returned empty-handed from the 2022 edition in Birmingham. “I have worked on my flaws with my coach and am well prepared now.”

Manika Batra, who partnered with Neha Aggarwal to win the women’s doubles gold in the 2015 National Games in Kerala, admitted that she was very upset with her performance in Birmingham.

“Yes, I was very upset. However, this is not the end and I will keep working on my game. One needs to be patient. I worked with my coach on my game and fitness. I think I’m ready now,” she declared.

Manika, who will be entering the arena only on Thursday when the individual events begin, said she was in a good space at the moment.

“I’m pretty well prepared, mentally, and physically too. I will give 100 percent in all my matches,” she said, pointing out that she is looking forward to the challenge of competing with younger players in the National Games.

“There are many youngsters and I get motivated when I see them play.”

The 27-year-old said she would continue to play with her pimpled racquet. “I will not leave my pimpled bats as I have got used to them. I think this is my game and I love it,” she said.

“In life, there will be ups and downs. I worked on my mistakes and I’m getting ready for the World Championship and the next year’s Asian Games.”

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