Manika Batra is an Indian Table Tennis player born on 15th June 1995. She hails from New Delhi. She represents India in doubles, singles, and mixed doubles events. She is currently ranked 63rd in the world in women’s table tennis.
Manika Batra was born to Girish Batra and Sushma Batra. She is the youngest of three siblings. She and her family reside in Naraina Vihar in New Delhi. Her elder sister Anchal and elder brother Sahil have both played table tennis.
Manika picked up interest in table tennis at the age of 4 after she was inspired by her elder siblings playing the sport. Her elder sister, Anchal, played a big role in Manika’s early years of playing. She had switched from one school to another school for better training opportunities as she was seriously pursuing Table Tennis.
Manika Batra’s talent was spotted by coach Sandeep Gupta when she won the U-8 state-level tournament and suggested her to move to Hansraj Model School where he ran his table tennis academy. After moving to a new school, she started training under Sandeep Gupta.
After her school education, Manika enrolled in Jesus and Mary College but didn’t attend the college as she was more engaged in table tennis than her studies. After a year, she dropped out of college and focused on the sport. She even got modeling offers which she declined to pursue a career in table tennis.
Rise to Glory
Under the tutelage of coach Sandeep Gupta, Manika Batra began to flourish as a professional table tennis player. She participated and won medals in district competitions and state meets.
In 2011, at the age of 15, she won her first national medal by winning Silver at the National Table Tennis Championships. In that year, she made her international debut at the Chile Open and won Silver in U-21 Category Singles.
At the 2016 South Asian Games, she won 3 Gold medals, each in Women’s Team, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles, followed by a Silver medal in Women’s Singles held at Guwahati in Assam.
In February 2021, Manika Batra was crowned as National Champion in Women’s Singles by defeating Reeth Rishya at the Senior National Table Tennis Championships.
Manika Batra made her multi-sports event debut at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where reached the quarterfinals of the Women’s Singles event at Glasgow in Scotland. Later in the year, she also finished as a quarterfinalist in Women’s Singles at the Asian Games in Incheon, Japan.
In 2015, she won the 3 medals, winning Silvers in Women’s Team and Women’s Doubles and a Bronze in Women’s singles at the Commonwealth Table Tennis Championships in Surat, Gujarat. A year later, she competed in the Rio Olympics but crashed out of the tournament after she lost to Poland’s Katarzyna Grzybowska in the 1st round of Women’s Singles.
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, she won 4 medals in 4 different events, including 2 Gold medals in Women’s Singles and Women’s Team, a Silver in Women’s Doubles, and a Bronze in Mixed Doubles. With a Gold medal in Singles, she became the 1st Indian woman paddler to be Commonwealth Games Gold-Medalist in Singles. Also, the Indian women’s team led by Batra achieved the historic feat by defeating 4-time Gold medalist Singapore in the final.
In 2020, she lost her Olympics berth in the Women’s Team event at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics after getting defeated by France’s Marie Migot in the quarterfinals of Tokyo Olympics qualifiers. Manika is now eyeing the 2021 Tokyo Olympics berth through the Asian and World Qualifiers tournament.