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It’s not ready for me yet: Manika Batra vows to return stronger at National Games after CWG failure | More sports news

SURAT: After the highlights of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Asiad, Manika Batrahis career took a nosedive after the Birmingham CWG debacle, but the top Indian paddler has vowed to make a strong comeback at the National Games before we head to the World Championships this month.
Batra was one of India’s biggest stars in 2018, taking four medals, including the women’s singles and team gold at the CWG. She also took bronze in the mixed doubles at the Asian Games later that year.
However, at the Birmingham Games last month, she didn’t look good and returned empty-handed.
“Of course I was sad and upset when I lost my matches in CWG, but I always tell myself that this is not the end of the world,” Batra, who is here for the National Games, told reporters during a virtual interaction.
“2018 was a really great year for me. This time I played the best for the CWG. I did really well in the World Tours, beating good players,” said the top-ranked Indian.
“I think I played my best in CWG, but every player has ups and downs in their lives. It’s not over for me because I didn’t get a medal in the CWG,” she added.
Batra said she has worked hard to correct her mistakes.
“I have to keep working hard and bounce back. I’ve worked a lot on my mistakes and my coach has been my sparring partner. There are some big tournaments coming up and next year like the Asian Games.”
The rowers will be the first to come into action here at the PDDU Indoor Stadium ahead of the opening ceremony of the National Games in a week, as they will fly to Chengdu for the World Championships from September 30.
At the Birmingham CWG, the 27-year-old failed to defend her women’s singles title as she was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Singapore’s lower-seeded Jian Zeng in straight games.
She also made quarterfinal exits in mixed doubles and women’s doubles events. The Indian women’s team led by Batra also defended the title in the last eight stages.
“I started training after I came back to India. You mustn’t think that ‘abhi khatm ho gaya’ (it’s over now), you must never give up and immediately train and work on your mistakes.”
“I am quite prepared mentally and physically after the CWG debacle. I have focused more on my mental strength, which is very important when you play a big tournament. I will go there and give my 100 percent,” the Delhi paddler added.
The Indian TT contingent heads to the World Cup on September 25, and Batra agreed it would be hectic to compete in back-to-back events.
“We have back-to-back tournaments, it will be exhausting, but I am mentally prepared for the challenges.”
Asked if she’s going to replace her rubber – the long pips she uses, Batraa said, “I’m never going to change my pimples (the bump on the rubber). Over time you get used to it and I love it.”
She went on to say that the National Games would be a tough competition for them with many promising youngsters on the way.
“I appreciate every competition, be it National Games, CWG, Asian Games or World Championships. I always do my best.
“I just want to enjoy every game here. I think that’s very important to do well. We have a lot of promising youngsters coming up and hopefully it will be an unforgettable outing for me,” concluded Manika.



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