Fri, 30 Jul 2021

By Nitin SrivastavaNew Delhi [India], June 13 (ANI): Star Indian table tennis player Manika Batra is eyeing a medal in the upcoming Tokyo Games however if she isn't able to grab one, the paddler feels she will surely clinch it in the Olympics 2024.

Manika wants to follow the footsteps of star player Sharath Kamal and is already working for the 2024 Games.

"I keep myself ready and steady, I am working harder for Paris. I would love to see myself win a medal for India in Tokyo and if not then Paris," Manika told ANI.

"Like Sharad bhaiya is playing his fourth Olympics, I would also want to pursue my third Olympics at Paris so about which I have been working since last year already because you know Olympics actually need real long preparation," she added.

The Indian paddler likes to remain calm and composed to be mentally fit and in the right frame of mind.

"Overall mental aspect is very important in sports the whole situation in which we were last year in fact has tested our resolve and the grid I prefer to remain calm and composed that's where I am strong and competitive normally," said Manika.

Manika said playing for India in the Olympics is the biggest and most important thing and she is looking forward to competing in the mega event.

"It's a good opportunity and I am competing in two events, playing for India is the biggest and most important thing for a player like me. I love my country and such a platform is a perfect place to fight it out," she mentioned.

Talking about her training in Pune, Manika said," The whole training that I have done with my coach and my team and also the motivation that I get representing India also has helped me in big tournaments.""I will like to gather good thoughts and fight hard for my country with full strength and potential but I feel performance on that day matters in every tournament," she added.

Tokyo Olympics will begin on July 23 and the Games will run up to August 8 this year. The event was slated to be held last year, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manika will join the national camp in Sonepat ahead of the quadrennial event and the paddler wants to "leave no stone unturned" to be in best of the form.

"Yes I will be joining to train for mixed doubles for few days but you know it's an individual sport so rest of my training I will continue the way I have been since late 2019.

"If we strengthen our self individually it helps the country the most in a sport like table tennis and had it be hockey ki or volleyball I would always prefer to be in the training you know team training so but table tennis badminton tennis require a different kind of effort.

"We (Manika and her mixed doubles partner Sharath Kamal ) will really give our best and I myself I will leave no stone unturned. I have been working on my movements specific to mixed doubles in Pune and my coach especially keeps working on it with me and it's been important even before qualification which was very tough I had done it and we created wonders against Singapore in Korean players in Qatar that has boosted my confidence a lot," she added.

Manika will remember her family and friends when she will represent India in the Olympics slated to be played behind closed doors.

"I will remember all my friends, family supporters before I actually walk into that event and imagine whenever I feel lonely that they are there supporting us with the flag and cheers that will really boost me up.

"But surprisingly the silence might even be a boon while actually playing the sport allowing us to hear the sound of the ball more clearly," she signed off. (ANI)

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