Manika Batra on TTFI legal battle: Only intend to protect myself and other hardworking players

Manika Batra spoke to Sportstar on her legal battle against the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), training with G Sathiyan and her goals for year ahead.

“I am going to pour in my heart and soul”, said Manika, "to want to see India being represented in the top 10 in ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) women’s singles.

Amidst the noise around her, India’s top woman paddler Manika Batra has been training hard for domestic and International tournaments.

In Chennai to spar with her mixed doubles partner G. Sathiyan for a series of World Table Tennis (WTT) tournaments in Muscat, Singapore, and Doha, the 26-year-old, ranked 50 in the world, spoke to Sportstar on her singles goals, playing with Sathiyan and the legal battle involving the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).

“I am going to pour in my heart and soul”, said Manika, "to want to see India being represented in the top 10 in ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) women’s singles.

Excerpts from the interview:

RELATED: Delhi High Court suspends TTFI, orders appointment of Administrator

On taking on TTFI
A: I have the greatest faith in the Indian Judiciary. I have devoted my life to sports to bring glory to my country. I'm grateful to the Government of India, everyone who stood with me, and the people of my country for the support I received. I was forced to approach the honourable court when I was left with no other choice because I was subjected to undue pressure and ill-treatment which put me into huge mental agony. I had to endure a very difficult situation just before the Tokyo Olympics. It had an adverse effect on my game in the Olympics.

My only intention is to get protection for myself and all the hardworking players of India who should be allowed to perform and play for India. I have only one aim in life, and that's to make India proud in the field of sports. Sports Ministry and SAI are always helpful to the players and sports are growing in our country.

READ: Sharath Kamal raises players' concerns after TTFI's suspension

On training sessions with Sathiyan
A: The training sessions I had with Sathiyan were much needed. Even though we have had success earlier we never got enough time to train together. And with a busy year coming ahead, I believe we needed these sessions to help us understand better and work on techniques, which I think could help us in the coming months.  And I am thankful to the Ministry of Sports, and the TOPS scheme for their support, which has been of incredible help in my preparations for this season.

On short-term and long-term goals in mixed doubles with Sathiyan
A: As athletes, the final aim is always to win as many medals for your country as possible. Sathiyan and I want to continue to achieve that. We want to concentrate on one tournament at a time and want to bring out our A-game always for us in all the events we play.

READ: India’s G. Sathiyan signs with French Pro A league club

On goals in singles
A: It has been a joyful ride. I have finally entered the top 50 in the world. My aim to is keep improving and keep the momentum going. I am going to pour in my heart and soul to achieve the best I can for my country.

On the forthcoming Senior Nationals
A: I am currently focusing on my fitness and technique, also taking one game at a time.

READ: TT Senior Nationals to start from March 20

On medal hopes in 2022 CWG & Asian Games
A: Well everyone who participates in any tournament enters with a goal to win medals. I would definitely love to win medals at the 2022 CWG and Asian Games, but for that, I need to remain focused and work hard. So at the moment, my current priority is to train well and I believe that it’ll help me achieve my goal.

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