Manika BATRA created more history by becoming the first ever Indian table tennis player to become the women’s singles Commonwealth Games champion after shocking the field at Gold Coast 2018.
The 22-year-old, who led India to their first ever women’s team gold medal demonstrated her devastating form in the singles event to win gold against all the odds.
BATRA, who is currently ranked number 58 in the world started off her dream day by beating world number four FENG Tianwei (SGP) who she also beat in the women’s team final in the semifinals.
She then faced another Singapore in YU Mengyu in the battle for gold. After a tough opening game when she trailed 6-1, BATRA blasted the Singapore legend off the court to claim gold 11-7, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 to add another gold to her collection.
A beaming BATRA said after the match: “I feel very proud to have won and even more proud to have won for India. My aim was to win a gold medal for India and I did it! Here at the Commonwealth Games it is the best table tennis I have ever played. I have never played better. in the first game I was down 6-1; I said to myself I can recover and win and I did.”
The 2010 and 2014 gold medalist FENG Tianwei recovered from her shock loss against BATRA to defeat Mo ZHANG (CAN) in the bronze medal to ensure she added to her gold from the women’s doubles and silver from the women’s team event.
England’s Liam PITCHFORD & Paul DRINKHALL held their nerve to win a gripping Men’s Doubles final. The English duo managed to come back from 1-2 to overcome a spirited Indian pair of Sharath ACHANTA & Sathiyan GNANASEKARAN 11-5, 10-12, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8 to secure England’s first gold medal of the games.
The success of the Indian team at the commonwealth games further illustrate’s their rise and interest in the sport. The Indian pair of Harmeet DESAI and Sanil Shankar SHETTY defeated the Singaporean duo Koen PANG and Ethan POH to clinch the bronze.
Melissa TAPPER (AUS) thrilled the capacity local crowd as she beat Faith OBAZUAYE (NGR) to claim the class 6-10 para gold 7-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-3 in an entertaining final.