Star Indian table tennis player Manika Batra got her Tokyo campaign off to a winning start. World number 62 Manika won the match against 94th-ranked Tin-Tin Ho of Britain 4-0. However, there was a slight controversy during the match after she refused to take advice of the national coach Soumyadeep Roy.
Batra was upset by the fact that her personal coach Sanmay Paranjape was not allowed to be at the court during her matches. Paranjape was controversially cleared to travel with her to Tokyo but is not allowed to stay at the Games Village with the national team. The 26-year-old wanted Paranajpe’s accreditation to be upgraded so that he can be with Batra during her matches but her request was denied by the organisers which made her upset.
“After her request for on-court access for her personal coach was denied, she refused to be coached by our national coach. I had to intervene in the matter but she also refused me to take Roy’s advice during the match,” Singh told PTI.
Roy was seen courtside when Sharath Kamal and Manika played their round of 16 match in mixed doubles. The national coach is a member of the team that won a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth games and has been a long term teammate of Sharath.
Following the 4-0 win, Manika will now face Ukraine’s 20th seed Margaryta Pesotska. Manika had a slow start against Tin-Tin but soon found her rhythm to take the first game 11-7 before winning the second game 11-6. Tin-Tin showed some resistance in the third set but lost 12- 10. Manika sealed the match with 11-9 in the fourth game.