Tokyo 2020: Overthinking didn't help me, says Manika Batra after 3rd round defeat
- Manika Batra failed to win a game on Monday
- Her 3rd round game against Austria's Sofia lasted only for 27 minutes
- She also regretted not having her coaches by her on court
Manika was thrashed 4-0 by World No. 16 Sofia Polcanova in the third round of the women's singles event. The match lasted less than 30 minutes as the Austrian sealed the game 11-8, 11-2, 11-5, 11-7 to progress to the fourth round and has also been guaranteed of a medal in Tokyo.
The 26-year-old Manika, who broke down, later said that she was thinking way to much about the match and that did not help her case.
"I was a little nervous... mujhe jeetna hi hai (I have to win). I had high expectations from myself. I wanted to win and reach the next round because playing the quarterfinals would have been a big thing. But I shouldn't have done that, it is disappointing to think about it right now. I was thinking way too much which didn't work for me," Manika Batra told India Today.
Ranked 63 according to the latest rankings of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Manika was coming off a superb win in the second round, where she had bounced back despite being 2-0 down initially. However, she couldn't replicate the performance on Monday. The Delhi-based paddler also regretted not having any of her coaches by her side on court due to the COVID-19 restrictions, unlike her opponent, and how she missed getting the much-needed support when she needed it the most.
"Every athlete needs people to support them, my opponent had her coaches with her on court. At this stage in the Olympics you need someone to be there to give you advice and to keep you mentally strong. I had requested the officials to give me access to my coaches, but it's ok, I'm not blaming anyone. It would have been good if I had my coaches. From India with Sutirtha Mukherjee, her personal coach is there. It comes in handy when you go for a match, and you have your coach to support and advise you. But it's ok, I am mentally strong, and I gave my best," Manika added further.
The crushing defeat has not broken the young Indian paddler as she plans to immediately start preparing for the upcoming events such as the World Champions (2021), Commonwealth Games (2022), and also for the Paris Olympics (2024).
No player is satisfied this easily, I am not satisfied with my performance today. I spoke to my coach and he said 'you played your best but could have done better'. I just want to start training again once I go back home. I wrote down all my mistakes in my notes and I want to go back home and refer to them because there is very little time left for 2024 Paris Olympics, this year we have the World Championships and CWG next year. I'll try not to think about this defeat when I train for the upcoming tournaments," Manika said.
While Manika and Sutirtha Mukherjee's journey has ended in the women's singles event, Sharath Kamal is still alive in the men's single event. He defeated Portugal's Tiago Apolonia 2-11, 11-8, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-9 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Monday. Sharath and Manika had earlier suffered a first-round exit from the Mixed Doubles event.