Manika Batra split with coach 'after waiting patiently'

Manika Batra has moved to Pune and is training with Sanmay Paranjape, but the paddler said that he is a 'practice partner' and not her coach.

Last year, Manika Batra became the first female Indian table tennis player to win a gold medal in Commonwealth Games.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

For the first time since Manika Batra's split with coach Sandeep Gupta was confirmed, the ace paddler has clarified that she decided to end her “professional relationship” with her childhood coach after “waiting patiently for several months”.

“For several months, I wasn’t happy with my training in my previous academy which I had communicated to my coach but there was no change in training. I, therefore, stopped going to the academy for training after Nationals in January,” stated Manika after returning from a disappointing campaign in Qatar Open.

RELATED| Manika splits with long-time coach Sandeep Gupta

“Finally, I had to take the decision to quit the training officially in February 2019. This decision was not taken overnight but only after waiting patiently for several months. After Hungary Open (in January), I told Sandeep sir the reasons for which I wanted to end my professional relationship with him as my coach,” she added.

Gupta had told Sportstar earlier this week that Manika, who last year became the first female Indian table tennis player to win a gold medal in Commonwealth Games and earn a medal in Asian Games, has moved to Pune since she has decided to train with a “new coach”, Sanmay Paranjape.

Paranjape, a Pune-based paddler, was a part of Delhi’s bronze medal-winning team at the Senior Nationals in Cuttack in January. Manika though explained that Paranjape isn’t her coach.

“India Khelega (the academy in Pune where Paranjape and Manika now train) gives me that platform to train. I thank Sanmay and various players who train here with me now and in future,” she said.

“Of course it has been made possible by Sanmay but that doesn’t mean Sanmay is my coach. In sports terminology, there is a big difference between a coach and a practice partner. I get advice from many ends and I can put it to good use during practice here. This helps me improve my effort.”

Paranjape, meanwhile, stressed that he has no intention of “turning a coach” at the moment. “I finished the last season as the men’s No. 1 in Delhi and am still an active player on the circuit,” he said.