The break due to the Covid-19 lockdown is a tough time for professional athletes. The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic and several other major tournaments have either been suspended or postponed.
Replying to TOI’s question in a Q&A session on Twitter, the ace paddler said, “This situation is very unusual for everyone, so I’m sure it must be affecting mentally in different ways but we have to stay positive and hopeful.”
-At the moment i am i am unaware of this, i would like to know more…-This situation is very unsual for everyone… https://t.co/SnlOO5ShZX
— Manika Batra (@manikabatra_TT) 1589522116000
When asked how hard it will be for paddlers to get going once the sport resumes after the crisis, Manika said, “It will be difficult for everyone to come back to a normal life. It’s just a matter of time…But with a positive approach and hope to do something we will make a strong comeback…life is all about challenges…Overcoming difficult situations makes you strong.”
The 24-year-old Delhi paddler, however was unaware of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) mulling at excluding all doubles and mixed doubles events from its competitions, saying, “At the moment, I am unaware of this, I would like to know more…”
Giving a glimpse of her lockdown routine, Manika said: “Working on physical fitness, meditation, watching TV series. Also helping people directly and indirectly…”
On being probed about her strengths and weaknesses, she had a candid reply. “To be very honest many people say I have a very good reach being tall and reaction that is my strong point and I am working on both my backhand and forehand..”
Asked what advice would she have given her teenage self, Manika said, “Commitment, dedication and self-discipline are key.”
While picking tennis and football are her favourite sports apart from table tennis, Manika shed light on what made her fall in love with table tennis.
“It has spin, bounce, reaction, quick exchange of rallies and it’s very challenging sport fitness and skill wise that’s why I love this sport,” she said.
When asked to define success, Manika, the first Indian woman to win a singles gold medal in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games said: “Feeling like taking up tasks and challenges is the biggest success. If you have the strength to do that…..that is real success.”
She further added that the “hunger to represent our tricolor” keeps her motivated.