Manika becomes first Indian to win Breakthrough Star award
New Delhi: India's Manika Batra on Wednesday became the first Indian Table Tennis player to be decorated with the 'Breakthrough Table Tennis Star' award at the prestigious International Table Tennis Federation Star Awards in Incheon.
"I am really honoured and happy to have received the award. I feel, 2018 has been the best year of my career so far and I am happy for what I have achieved," Manika said at the ceremony. "I would like to thank the Government, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and most importantly, my family, who has been there for me and motivated me along this journey," she added.
Manika started the year on a high at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, guiding India to it’s first-ever gold medal in the Women’s Team category as they defeated four-time gold medallists and defending champions Singapore 3-1.
She bagged another gold in the women's singles category, defeating former World No. 4 Feng Tianwei. She added two more medals to her kitty by winning a silver in the women's doubles' and a bronze in the mixed doubles categories.
The 23-year-old Arjuna awardee then partnered India's legendary Sharath Kamal to clinch a bronze in the mixed doubles category of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. Manika also reached her career-best ranking of 52 in 2018 and became India's highest ranked female player. TTFI's General Secretary MP Singh congratulated the Indian star.
"The year has been great for Indian Table Tennis and this award for Manika perfectly caps it well for the sport. We are proud of Manika and all the others," he said.